Tennessee Marriage Equality Ruling Breaks Streak

Written by scott on August 13th, 2014

Circuit Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr.A judge in a Tennessee marriage equality case became the first in the US to rule against same sex marriage since the US Supreme Court ruled on DOMA and Prop 8 last year.

Dot429 reports:

Circuit Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr. of Roane County said in his decision, “neither the Federal Government nor another state should be allowed to dictate to Tennessee what has traditionally been a state’s responsibility.” The case was brought by two gay men, both Tennessee residents, who had married in Iowa four years previously and are now seeking a divorce. Granting it would require recognizing them as married, something Simmons refused to do on the grounds that under Tennessee law, “if another state allows persons to marry who are prohibited from marriage in Tennessee, then that marriage is void and unenforceable in Tennessee.”

Though Simmons’ ruling can only apply to “cases involving a divorce when the marriage itself is not recognized,” according to SCOTUSblog, “he ruled in sweeping terms.” His decision relied in part on a Supreme Court summary decision from 1972, which he said the court had never overruled. When it was argued that said precedent has been undercut by more recent cases, especially in regards to LGBT rights, Simmons responded that the issue needs to be addressed by a higher court.

That sounds pretty desperate to me – reaching back 42 years to find a precedent to support his ruling.

It should also be noted that the city of Chattanooga voted overwhelmingly to take rights away from its LGBT citizens this last week. Tennessee is clearly vying for the title of “most homophobic state.”

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3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Angelica Mae Calhoun says:

    why should a law 42 yrs ago should be seen as todays law, today is not 42 yrs ago some to most of those laws are unjust for today alot of people do accept the LGBT and the ones who say that the LGBT is wrong by using what the bible says well look at this,, in the bibe men did wear long gowns and robes.
    Now for those who are for the LGBT stand up for our rights Tennessee has no right to say that they can do this or that because the LGBT rights are wrong we are people also who do have rights as the othres

  2. jerry says:

    Bring it on Tennessee. I just bet you felt the same way about mixed marriages. That didn’t work too well for you either…did it. You are exactly why the Federal Government has to get involved in some state issues.

  3. Eric says:

    A southern judge who is behind the times, costing Tennessee a lot of money, is not using his brain and is using religious thinking rather than civil logic.

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