Same-sex couples keep marriage secret in some states - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Same-sex couples keep marriage secret in some states

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JACKSON, Miss. -

Meet Kevin and his husband, "Daniel." Both men grew up in Mississippi and are now living south of Jackson as a married couple.

"I actually turned down the first date with my now-husband because he was an Ole Miss fan," Kevin said.

The couple started dating 10 years ago. They were married, surrounded by family, in 2010 in Vermont, a state that recognizes gay marriage.

But in Mississippi, the couple often feel the need to hide their status. Daniel asked us not to reveal his name, identity or even the city where they live for fear he could lose his job for being gay.

"I work with some wonderful people, but in the state of Mississippi, there are no protections. I mean, the company can literally fire you because of who you are," Daniel said.

Kevin wears a wedding band, but Daniel does not. It's an effort to avoid what he calls "innocent conversation" that could cause too many questions.

"People are like, 'Where does your wife work? Who are your kids?'" Daniel said.

Children would be a dream come true for the couple, but adoption is illegal for same-sex couples in Mississippi. Kevin and Daniel also don't get tax breaks as a married couple, since the state does not recognize their marriage. We asked them why they stay in Mississippi.

"Honestly, that's true. We could leave. Both of us have jobs that we could transfer. But this is where our home is," Kevin said.

"My parents are here. My grandparents are here. His parents are here. His mother's battling breast cancer right now," Daniel said. "What's wrong with us wanting to be within an hour from our whole family?"

The couple said they respect people who don't share their views.

"It's important for you to come out, not because you're trying to push it in someone's face, but it's important for you to come out because it's hard for them to hate you when they know you," Kevin said.

Kevin said he thinks Mississippi is changing. He said things are different here than a decade ago when he first met Daniel.

"Gay and lesbian Americans are not just going to go away just because you may live in a state that doesn't have it. I think we are seeing progress every single day," Kevin said.

That progress includes a new push for marriage equality in a conservative Southern state, even though Mississippi residents voted nearly a decade ago to ban gay marriage.

Kevin and Daniel do think they'll live to see marriage equality in Mississippi. They believe it will eventually come in the form of a lawsuit filed against the state by a same-sex couple.

"And that same-sex couple is going to win," Kevin said.

As for Kevin and Daniel, they're living a peaceful life in south central Mississippi and relying on their faith.

"And yeah, we've had people to say, 'Well, do you consider yourself a Christian?' Well, the Bible says I am. 'Well, what says that?' Well, because it says all who call the name of the Lord shall be saved. You're not going to change everyone's mind, but I think that just comes with time," Kevin said.

Keegan Foxx - WAPT

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