Anti-marriage recognition constitutional amendment; a federal judge has ruled that the marriages of three same-sex couples must be respected in Tennessee, and the decision is now on appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In March 2014, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in Tanco v. Haslam, a federal lawsuit filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights seeking respect for same-sex couples' out-of-state marriage licenses. The ruling, limited to the three plaintiff couples, means that the three couples are respected as married as the case proceeds. Read more about marriage litigation in Tennessee.
Marriage supporters across the state are continuing to speak out in favor of equality, working to overturn anti-marriage laws in Tennessee so that all same-sex couples can share in the freedom to marry.
In 2006, anti-gay forces in Tennessee pushed through Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage. State statutes in Tennessee effectively disallow civil unions or domestic partnerships between same-sex couples by stating that marriage between one man and one woman is the only legally recognized marital contract.
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Tennessee Equality Project is a statewide organization dedicated to promote and sustain the equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the state of Tennessee.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
Majorities of Tennesseans (49%) support the legal recognitions of same-sex couples, with 32% supporting marriage and 17% supporting civil unions. 69% of Tennesseans under the age of 30 support the freedom to marry. (Vanderbilt University, May 2013)
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:
According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 10,898 same-sex couples are living in Tennessee, representing 4.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Tennessee
Next month, same-sex couples in six different states will get their day in court at the federal appellate level when the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and the 7th Circuit hold oral arguments in a wide range of legal cases seeking the freedom to marry or respect for marriages between same-sex couples legally performed in other states.
This week, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit scheduled a date for oral arguments in the appeals of five cases where judges have ruled in favor of the freedom to marry.
Jake Loesch, Campaign Manager for Southerners for the Freedom to Marry, traveled to Kentucky and Tennessee to work on the ground with partner organizations as Freedom to Marry expands it's work in both states.
Resources Related to Tennessee
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Tennessee.
Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".