NASHVILLE — Federal Judge Aleta Trauger ruled March 14 that Tennessee must recognize the marriages of three couples named in a current lawsuit against the state.
The ruling, in essence, says that Tennessee’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages, which was put into law in 1996 and voted into the state constitution 10 years later in 2006, is unconstitutional.
The Tennessee ruling follows similar rulings issued by judges in Kentucky and Ohio.
The Tennessean reported March 15 that the Tennessee Attorney General’s office is reviewing the decision and “will take all necessary steps to defend the law,” according to an e-mail from spokesperson Sharon Curtis-Flair.
Opponents of same-sex marriage are saddened by Judge Trauger’s ruling.
“The courts, nor our culture, has the power to change one single letter of God’s Word,” observed Randy C. Davis, executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
“Nor can His definition of marriage be altered by any means,” Davis continued.
He noted that every “Christ-following parent must paint a real picture of what biblical, God-honoring, whole and holy marriage looks like for the next generation.”
Davis also challenged every pastor and teacher of God’s Word to “positively, compassionately, and with clarity lift high the biblical definition of marriage without intimidation.”
Former state senator David Fowler, head of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, observed in The Tennessean that the ruling is part of a war on the rights of states and citizens to determine marriage policy.
“If Judge Trauger continues on her present course and strikes down our marriage law, we trust that our state 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,” Fowler told The Tennessean.