A federal judge in Tennessee on Friday
ruled that the state must recognize the legal marriages of three gay
and lesbian couples.
U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger's
preliminary injunction against the state only covers the lawsuit's
three named plaintiff couples. However, Trauger noted in her ruling
that marriage bans like Tennessee's were headed to the dustbin of
“[P]roscriptions against same-sex
marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American
Among the plaintiffs are Dr. Valeria
Tanco and Dr. Sophy Jesty, who married in New York before moving to
Knoxville in 2011.
“Getting married not only enabled us
to express our love and commitment to one another, but it also
provided us with the protections we would need as we started our new
lives together,” Dr. Jesty said in a statement announcing the
lawsuit in October. Tanco is currently pregnant with the couple's
Tennessee prohibits gay couples from
marrying by state law and a constitutional amendment which was
overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2006.
Friday's ruling is preliminary and only
applies to the six named plaintiffs.