Tanco v. Haslam

What's Happening:

On August 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit will hear oral arguments in the appeal of this case, in which U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger ruled that state officials must respect the marriages of three same-sex couples whose lawsuit challenges the state’s marriage ban in March 2014. 

Case Background:

On October 21, 2013, the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of four legally married same-sex couples seeking respect for their marriages in Tennessee, where they now live. The lawsuit challenges Tennessee laws that restrict marriage to different-sex couples. 

Each of the four couples had previously lived outside of Tennessee and legally married in freedom to marry states.

NCLR's Legal Director, Shannon Minter explained, “Married couples should be able to travel and to live in any state knowing that their family is protected. Tennessee’s current law hurts same-sex couples and their children without helping anyone.”

On March 14, 2014, Judge Trauger ruled that the state must respect the marriages of these plaintiff couples, writing: "At this point, all signs indicate that, in the eyes of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs’ marriages will be placed on an equal footing with those of heterosexual couples and that proscriptions against same-sex marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American history."

The state of Tennessee has appealed the ruling to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting that a stay be placed on the decision. On March 20, Judge Trauger denied the motion to stay, but on April 25, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the defendants' request for a stay as the appeal proceeds.

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