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Tenn. appeals ruling that state recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s governor on Tuesday asked a federal judge to put her ruling requiring the state to recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples on hold while a higher court weighs in on the case.

Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.)

Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.)

Gov. Bill Haslam and state Attorney General Robert Cooper said in a motion that overturning the law without an appeals court reviewing the case “frustrates the will of the people.” Haslam and Cooper said leaving the status quo in place pending an appeals court decision would not harm the three couples who sued for recognition.

“We intend to take all necessary steps to defend the law,” said Sharon Curtis-Flair, a spokeswoman for Cooper’s office.

U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger on Friday ordered the state to recognize the unions of the couples, who were married in other states.

Trauger issued a preliminary injunction, which can be granted only in cases the judge believes the plaintiff will likely win.

In Tennessee, marriage between partners of the same sex is prohibited by state law and by a constitutional amendment approved in 2006.

The lawsuit did not challenge laws barring same-sex marriage in Tennessee, only those that prohibit recognizing such marriages performed in other states.

Follow this case: Tanco v. Haslam.

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