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Appeals court stays ruling that Tenn. recognize marriages of three gay couples

Saturday, April 26, 2014
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A federal appeals court has issued a stay in a district court’s ruling that the state of Tennessee must recognize the legal out-of-state marriages of three same-sex couples .

TennesseeThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Friday blocked enforcement of the order and agreed to expedite the appeal.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger issued a preliminary injunction barring the state from enforcing laws prohibiting recognition of lawfully performed marriages, but said the ruling was only temporary and only applied to the three same-sex couples who filed the challenge.

The lead plaintiffs in the case, Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty were married in New York in 2011 and now live in Knoxville, and were seeking to have both their names listed on the birth certificate of their soon-to-be-born child.

Trauger refused to issue a stay in her preliminary decision, and Tanco who gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Emilia Maria Jesty. Tanco was listed as the baby’s mother and Jesty is listed on the birth certificate under “father” since Tennessee birth certificates are not gender neutral.

A ruling against the couple would likely void Emilia’s birth certificate and require that it be reissued with only Tanco listed.

The stay order is here.

Follow this case: Tanco v. Haslam.

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