The #1 Tennessee Gay Marriage Guide


Gay Marriage In Tennessee has all the info, statistics, status and history for Tennessee gay marriage. Find out what you need to know here with us today. Gay marriage is now legal in all states in the U.S. after a Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015. The Supreme Court has deemed that the ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The state laws in Tennessee, state that marriage is that of a union between a man and a woman. It is in fact stated in Article XI that "any law, policy or judicial interpretation," of a marriage as anything other than a legal contract joining one man and one woman is against public policy and should be considered void and will not be legally recognized. The state of Tennessee also did not legally recognize gay marriages that have been performed in any other state until the Supreme Court ordered states to recognize this in the ruling in 2015. Marriage has been quite strictly defined by both the state laws of Tennessee and the Tennessee constitution. The 2010 Tennessee Code, Title 36 states that gay marriage is forbidden, saying that family is essential to society and that society is at risk with any other definitions of marriage. The laws in Tennessee clearly define marriage as unique in rights and responsibilities, that anything different is and would be adverse to our society as it is today. So, according to Tennessee, all families should be run by one man and one woman, with no variations, so as to not pose a danger to that natural order of things and there should be absolutely no exceptions to this rule.

It could not be any more explicit that gay marriage was unquestionably proscribed in almost all of the laws concerning marriage in Tennessee until they were overturned in 2015. Most lawmakers believe that marriage is what hold families together in the state. All gay couples were undeniably forbidden from enjoying any and all rights and benefits of marriage.

The state of Tennessee is one of the few states with such strong language in their laws relating to marriage. It's evident that the laws of Tennessee put the morality of being in a same-sex couple and relationship into question. It has been clearly stated in well laid out laws that it is only opposite-sex couples that add to societies bond and strength as a state in Tennessee.

Tennessee laws simply did not allow for gay couples to be recognized but the federal government until the Supreme Court stepped in. Residents of the state believe that gay marriage or at least legal recognition of a gay relationship is both a legal and equal right. Gay couples believe that they are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples. Gay rights in Tennessee were clearly disregarded by both the laws and the language of the laws until recently. Gay rights must be addressed and dealt with statewide. The Supreme Court recognized that Marriage should and must be available to both heterosexual couples and gay couples to ensure that everyone is treated equally, fairly and just.

Tennessee Gay Marriage History

Tennessee gay marriage became legal on June 26, 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam did announce that the state would follow the order and Tennessee would allow gay couples to marry.

After the ruling by the Supreme Court, Decatur County, Grundy County, Marion County, Obion County and Warren County still refused to actually issue any gay marriage licenses. Soon after the ruling, all counties were directed to allow and to issue same-sex marriage licenses when a gay couple applied for it. Roane County Circuit Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr. from Kingston, Tennessee was the first judge to uphold the state ban on marriage equality on August 5, 2014.

Tennessee Gay Marriage Statistics

There are 10,898 gay couples who live in Tennessee according to the 2010 Census. Most of the same-sex couples are female at 54% with the remaining 46% being male same-sex couples. The average age of same-sex couples (43.4 years) in the state of Tennessee is seven plus years younger than that of opposite-sex married couples (50.8 years). Approximately one in five gay couples in Tennessee (18%) are raising children in their homes who are under the age of 18. There are 1,949 gay couple households statewide raising 3,936 children. Gay couples who are of racial or ethnic minorities (38%), approximately four in ten couples are raising children under the age of 18. This can be compared to 14% of their white counterparts.

It's staggering to note that the median annual household income of gay couples who are raising children under 18 is less than half the median annual household income of heterosexual married couples, $32,584 compared to $69,704. This could in part be explained by the fact that gay couples with children tend to more often than not, be female couples, and females statistically earn less than their males counterparts.

Current Status Of Tennessee Gay Marriage

Until very recently, the state of Tennessee had a legal ban on gay marriage and gay marriages for couples who had their union performed legally outside of the state of Tennessee would not have had it recognized, This is known as the 'non-recognition clause'. But with the decision handed down from the Supreme Court all of this has been put to the wayside.

The wording in Tennessee laws is very exact and had explicitly banned gay marriage as it goes against the public policy of the state. With the new ruling by the Supreme Court in 2015, the lawmakers in Tennessee is going to have to continue their long hard fight to try to ban gay marriage in the state again or they will need to realize that gay marriage and equality for gay couples is where the Supreme Court has ordered the state to be and find a way to allow this equality to exist.

Future Status Of Tennessee Gay Marriage

With the federal ruling by the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage in all of the United States of America, the state of Tennessee and its legislators feel that gay marriage is being imposed on the state whether they like it or not. Essentially, this is, in fact, the case, the Supreme Court has said that gay marriage is legal and they are demanding that all states in the U.S. following this ruling. Tennessee legislators are now trying to pass a new measure that would legally ignore the Supreme Court's decision. The argument is that the Natural Marriage Defense Act states that in Tennessee, marriage is only legal if it is between one man and one woman. Legislators are prepared to fight that the Natural Marriage Defence Act is still valid and will argue that it supersedes any ruling passed down from the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers have developed a bill that would make 'any court decision purporting to strike down the Natural Marriage Act, authoritative, void, and of no effect.' Two Republican lawmakers, State Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet and Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon, brought the bill forward at a rally at the Tennessee State Capitol to hundreds of cheering voters.

Mark Pody complained that the Supreme Court overstepped here when it comes to the gay marriage ruling and said that it 'not only tramples on states' rights but has paved the way for an all-out assault on the religious freedom of Christians.' It is noted in the bill that in 2006 the voters of the state of Tennessee approved a constitutional amendment, with an 81% approval, that clearly said that marriage is only to be between one man and one woman. These lawmakers also stated that this bill is to uphold what the residents of Tennessee believe to be a legal marriage union.

There should be a very interesting court battle that we will see in the near future regarding gay marriage in Tennessee. It seems like this is one of the few states that is willing to take on the Supreme Court to the fullest to defend what they believe is what the residents of Tennessee want and need. Most states are too afraid to take on the Supreme Court and any ruling that come down from it, so it will be worth watching to see how this turns out for both heterosexuals as well as gay couples across the state.

To learn more about gay marriage in Tennessee, visit any of the following:

- Gay Marriage Laws In Tennessee

- All TN Counties Ready To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

- Marriage Equality In Tennessee

To find out about gay marriage in Texas, Click HERE.

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