JACKSON, Miss. -- Domestic violence will not become grounds for divorce in the state after a bill died in a legislative committee, whose chairman said it could open "the floodgates" to more divorces.
Committee chairman Andy Gipson, a Republican representative, told the Huffington Post that his comments were taken out of context.
He added on his Facebook page: "Senate Bill 2703 was unnecessary because Mississippi law has long recognized domestic abuse as a legitimate ground for divorce."
According to the Hattiesburg American, “Given our high divorce rate in this state, the floodgate is already open — we don’t need to completely tear it down,” said Gipson, R-Braxton, chairman of the House Judiciary B Committee and a Baptist preacher who said his personal conviction is, “we need to find ways to strengthen marriages, not further ways to erode them.”
There are a dozen grounds for divorce in Mississippi -- including adultery, drunkenness, impotence and bigamy -- and habitual cruel and inhuman treatment. Some experts have said that that ground can be tough to prove because it demands corroboration and does not allow for types of abuse that are not physical.
A similar move in the Senate failed last year.