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Tennessee

Plaintiffs in challenge to Tenn. same-sex marriage ban encouraged by Okla. ruling

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Supporters of marriage equality in Tennessee say they are encouraged by recent federal court rulings in Utah and Oklahoma that struck down state limits on same-sex marriage.

TennesseeAlthough the judge in Tennessee is not required to follow that lead, the attorney for four same-sex couples who have sued in the state says she thinks those other opinions will be influential.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Abby Rubenfeld said the Utah and Oklahoma rulings show that people across the country are in favor of same-sex marriage.

“It’s not just a blue-state issue,” she said. “It’s an American issue to be treated equally.”

The Tennessee Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The attorney general’s office issued a statement saying, “Nothing in these two cases changes our position that Tennessee’s laws are constitutional.”

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Gov. Bill Haslam’s spokesman Dave Smith said, “The law is clear here. Those decisions don’t affect Tennessee.”

The Tennessee case involves couples who were legally married in other states before moving here. Rubenfeld said she expects a ruling any day on a request for an injunction that would force the state to recognize the plaintiffs’ marriages while the case works its way through the courts.

If approved it would affect only the four couples who filed the lawsuit, but it would be an indication that U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger is likely to rule in their favor in the broader case.

“I so want Tennessee to be next,” Rubenfeld said. “Utah, Oklahoma, Tennessee.”

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12 more reader comments:

  1. My husband I got married in Iowa last March, we live in Knoxville TN. This is a huge deal for us

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:05am
  2. It’s Happening!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:07am
  3. Building momentum! #Marriageequality

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:07am
  4. I can only look forward and hope full equality happens in all 50 states sooner than later.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:44am
  5. Good luck Tennessee. Keep the faith.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:46am
  6. What about ks

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 12:52am
  7. Go Abby Rubenfeld. If anyone can get it done, it’s Abby!

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:53am
  8. I can sense a massive momentum building up!!! #MarriageEquality #FreedomtoMarry #LoveisLove

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:53am
  9. Every last #LGBT Marriage ban will be invalidated.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:06am
  10. Everyone everywhere can marry soon

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 2:17pm
  11. Marriage equality will soon be the law of the land.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 2:28pm
  12. Way to go. The conservatives are running scared and they are out of ammunition.

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 3:27pm