Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Full Faith and Credit: Why Gay Marriage is Coming to Tennessee

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 5:30 AM

The State Constitution can say what it wants about gay marriage (and it does—"The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state."), the Federal Constitution trumps a state constitution every time (which is why we have ministers in the legislature, even though the state constitution forbids it).

So, it's only a matter of time before same-sex couples who got married in other states are acknowledged as being married here. Tennessee might be able to hold out for a while longer and prevent gay people from getting married here, but it's hard to imagine the legal argument opponents of same-sex marriage could make that would convince federal judges to overlook the part in the U.S. Constitution that says states have to honor the records of other states.

The important thing is for Tennesseans to bring those cases before federal court so those rulings can be made. And on Monday, NewsChannel5 reported that such lawsuits are in the works:

Four same-sex couples legally married in other states have filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee's law that prohibits recognition of their marriages.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal district court in Nashville. It argues that Tennessee's laws violate the federal Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

This is exciting. They've gotten the ball rolling. Let's hope for a quick, positive ruling and then a bunch of our friends and neighbors taking off for Maryland for the weekend!

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