State Attorney General Files Appeal, Asks For Stay In Same-Sex Marriage Case

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The state Attorney General's Office has filed for a stay and notice of appeal in the Tanco case (same-sex marriage case).

We intend to take all necessary steps to defend the law.  We have filed a motion for a stay and a notice of appeal,” said Sharon Curtis-Flair, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.

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.

To read the filings, click here.

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