Middle Tennessee Federal Judge Says Tennessee Must Recognize Validity Of 3 Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages

Friday, March 14, 2014

A federal judge in Middle Tennessee ruled Friday that Tennessee must preliminarily recognize as valid the out-of-state marriages of three same-sex couples. The couples, after moving to Tennessee, challenged the state's constitutional amendment banning recognition of such marriages.

Tennessee banned same-sex marriages in 2006 by a constitutional amendment.

Judge Trauger said, in light of the "rising tide" of such cases, the three couples were likely to succeed in their lawsuit.

She wrote, "In making its decision, the court must decide, among other things, whether the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits of their claims, not that they have prevailed or that they necessarily will prevail on their claims.

"In other words, the court’s decision today simply reflects its best projection, based on the evidence and the existing state of the law, as to whether the plaintiffs are likely to win their case. Currently, all relevant federal authority indicates that the plaintiffs in this case are indeed likely to prevail on their claims that the Anti-Recognition Laws are unconstitutional."

The injunction applies only to the couples involved in the case.

It does not stop the state from continuing to ban same-sex marriages in Tennessee and to deny benefits to same-sex couples who are married in other states.

Judge Traugher said federal case law is moving towards overturning "anti-recognition" statutes.

David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, said, "While today's decision by federal Judge Trauger is not a final ruling, she has clearly signaled her intent to continue the war by unelected federal judges against the rights of states and the citizens of that state to determine what its policies regarding marriage should be.

"In stating her intent to require Tennessee to recognize out-of-state marriages involving two individuals of the same sex, Judge Trauger only got one thing right-that her ruling will thwart 'democratically enacted laws' that were 'overwhelmingly' approved by 80 percent of Tennessee voters.

"If Judge Trauger continues on her present course and strikes down our marriage law, we trust that our state's attorney general will pursue an immediate appeal to rectify this assault on the will of the people, the rights of our state, and the institution of marriage."

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, "Yet another federal judge has recognized that bans on marriage equality don't hold up to even basic constitutional scrutiny. Though today's ruling comes from Tennessee, it joins others issued recently in Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah, and in this case the judge boldly noted that it won't be long before each and every remaining ban on marriage equality becomes a footnote in history. That day isn't here yet, but today Tennessee brought us one step closer to that goal."

Currently 29 states have constitutional amendments restricting marriage to one man and one woman.  Same-sex couples can legally marry in 17 states and Washington, D.C.


 


Man Shot Three Times In His Car On East 26th Street

Jamarcus Davis told police that as he drove into the parking lot in the 2200 block of East 26 th Street, a driver in a Silver Dodge Durango opened fire into his vehicle. The victim was shot twice in the left leg and once in the right, officers said. The incident occurred at about 7 p.m. on Monday. After getting a description of both the vehicle and the driver, police ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 4

Chattanooga firefighters responded to two working structure fires at roughly the same time. At  12:29 p.m. , fire broke out in a single-story house at 2201 Rawlings Street. Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton said smoke and flames were visible coming from two sides of the house. Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said it took roughly 20 minutes to get the fire under control. ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What You Leave Behind

Randy Travis, one of the best at singing country songs that has ever been, had a song about three people who got killed when an 18-wheeler missed a stop sign. There was a farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher on this bus and Randy tells us: “One's headed for vacation, one for higher education, An' two of them were searchin' for lost souls.” In that wonderful song, the ... (click for more)

Hensley Succeeds Henry As Soddy-Daisy Athletic Director

Soddy-Daisy baseball coach Jared Hensley has added a new role to his duties. Hensley, who has coached the baseball Trojans for eight years with a 177-111 record and state tournament appearances in 2011 and 2015, is the school’s new athletic director. Hensley takes over for Steve Henry, now the school’s principal. “With coach Henry now the man in charge at our school,” ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Fairyland Clinches Red Division Swim Title

Members of the Calhoun swim team were set and ready to compete on the pool deck at the Fairyland Club Monday night, but they never got wet as the meet was postponed by lighting, thunder and the overall threat of stormy weather. They made the long trip back about 24 hours later and the second time around wasn’t nearly as productive as 21 less swimmers made the trip to the top ... (click for more)