Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tennessee judge breaks gay marriage's streak

Russell Simmons Jr.
By Mario Trujillo, The Hill, August 12, 2014 - A judge in Tennessee broke a streak of successful rulings across the country in the past year in favor of same-sex marriage.
State Circuit Court Judge Russell Simmons Jr. ruled the state's ban on recognizing gay marriages does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

His ruling last week .... stands in contrast to the dozens of state, federal and appeals court decisions that have struck down bans on gay marriage since the United States V. Windsor Supreme Court case in 2013. That ruling struck down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but Simmons said it did not apply to the Tennessee case. 
"The Windsor case is concerned with the definition of marriage, only as it applies to federal laws, and does not give an opinion concerning whether one state must accept as valid a same-sex marriage allowed in another state," he wrote. 
He added: "The Supreme Court does not go the final step and find that a state that defines marriages as a union of one man and one woman is unconstitutional." (link)
I am sure most liberals who seem to be ashamed to be Tennessean's anyway are rolling their eyes and being embarrassed again and hoping their liberal friends form more enlighten climes do not learn of this.  However, a gay-friendly writer at the Nashville Scene reluctantly says this ruling is correct: 
Simmons ruled how a judge in Tennessee should rule. The state law is what it is and there's no federal law that supersedes it. His hands are tied. As our legislature and the voters of Tennessee intended.(link)
This could be an important ruling. In his ruling he said, “Both the Supreme Court of the United States and the courts of Tennessee have both found that the Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require a state to apply another state’s law in violation of its own legitimate public policy.” (link)

To read more on this issue, see this article in the Washington Times.

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