FACT Report: July 31, 2013

Is Same Sex Marriage Coming to Tennessee? (July 31, 2013)

Since June many have wondered whether the language in the Supreme Court’s marriage decisions would be used by other judges to strike down as unconstitutional state laws that define marriage as a man and a woman.

We will soon find the answer for Tennessee.  Last week a Federal Judge in Ohio ruled that it was unconstitutional for Ohio to refuse to recognize as valid in Ohio heterosexual marriages from other states but not same sex marriages.

If the ruling is upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, then that court’s ruling will be binding on Tennessee because its rulings on constitutional matters are binding on all federal courts in that circuit, which includes Tennessee’s.  So if you want to know if same sex marriage is coming to Tennessee, then keep your eyes on Ohio.

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Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Same Sex Marriage in Tennessee, Ohio Style