Recognition of same-sex unions in Tennessee
|Legal recognition of
*Not yet in effect
Same-sex marriage in Tennessee is currently not legal in the state.
- 1 Same-sex marriage
- 2 Domestic partnerships
- 3 Public opinion
- 4 See also
- 5 References
On March 25, 2013, Tennessee Senate voted 32-0 in favor of the resolution SJR 134, which makes August 31 Traditional Marriage Day in Tennessee. On April 18, 2013, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted 89-0 in favor of the resolution. On May 2, 2013, Governor Bill Haslam signed the resolution into law.
On May 6, 2004, the Tennessee House of Representatives approved by a vote of 85-5 in favor of Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state. On May 19, 2004, the Tennessee State Senate approved by a vote of 28-1 in favor of the bill. On February 28, 2005, the Tennessee State Senate approved by a vote of 29-3 in favor of the bill. On March 17, 2005, the Tennessee House of Representatives approved by a vote of 88-7 in favor of the bill. On November 7, 2006, Tennessee voters approved of the amendment by a vote of 81.3% to 18.7%.
Tanco v. Haslam
The National Center for Lesbian Rights, on behalf of same-sex couples in Tennessee, filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court. The case, Tanco v. Haslam, seeks to require state recognition of their marriages. On March 14, 2014, U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger granted a preliminary injunction requiring the state to recognize the marriages of the three plaintiff couples. Tanco has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. A three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the case on August 6, 2014, along with same-sex marriage cases stemming from Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Borman v. Pyles-Borman
On August 5, 2014, Tennessee Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr. ruled in this case from a same-sex couple seeking the dissolution of their marriage. The judge not only denied the same-sex couple their request for a divorce, but he also upheld Tennessee's ban on marriage for same-sex couples, the first judge to do so in nearly fourteen months.
Certain jurisdictions in Tennessee provide for the creation of private domestic partnership contracts agreements. Governor Bill Haslam and State House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick both said there was no huge demand for domestic partnerships in Tennessee.
On November 12, 2013, the Chattanooga City Council voted 5-4 in favor of allowing domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples in the city of Chattanooga. On November 19, 2013, the city council in a final vote, voted 5-3 in favor of allowing domestic partnership benefits.
Before the domestic partnership ordinance went into effect, the Citizens for Government Accountability and Transparency, a local segment of the Tea Party, gathered enough signatures to put repeal of the ordinance to a popular vote in August 2014. The city council did not repeal the ordinance on its own, allowing the vote to proceed on August 7, the general election date for Hamilton County.
A December 2013 Multi-Quest poll found that 53% Chattanooga registers voters opposed the city ordinance allowing domestic partnerships and adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the city’s nondiscrimination policy, while 37% supported.
On August 7, 2014, the voters of Chattanooga repealed Ordinance 12781 was by a vote of 62.58% in favor and 37.42% against.
Nashville and Davidson County
On June 17, 2014, the Metro Council voted 27-7, in a third and final reading, in favor of allowing domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples in the city of Nashville and Davidson County. On June 25, 2014, Mayor Karl Dean signed the ordinance into law.
A May 2013 poll by Vanderbilt University survey of Tennessee registered voters found that 49% of Tennessee voters supported the legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 32% supporting same-sex marriage, 17% supporting civil unions but not marriage, 46% favoring no legal recognition, 3% said they don't know, and 2% refused to answer. It also found that 69% of Tennessee voters under the age of 30 supported the legal recognition of same-sex couples. A separate question on the same survey found that 62% of Tennessee voters supported domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples, 31% opposed, 4% said they don't know, and 2% refused to answer.
- LGBT rights in Tennessee
- Tennessee Equality Project
- Status of same-sex marriage
- Timeline of same-sex marriage
- "SJR 134". Open:States.
- State Laws Prohibiting Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships
- Bill Information for SJR0031. Tennessee General Assembly.
- New York Times: Monica Davey, "The 2006 Elections: Ballot Initiatives," November 9, 2006, accessed April 9, 2011
- Snow, Justin (March 14, 2014). "Tennessee ordered to recognize same-sex couples' marriages". Metro Weekly. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
- Tennessee Marriage Lawsuits
- "Domestic Partnerships". She Moskovitz & Mcghee.
- "No Tennessee plans for same-sex benefits". timesfreepress.com. September 8, 2013.
- "Collegedale first TN city to offer benefits to same-sex domestic partners". 5wmctv.com. Aug 6, 2013.
- "Knoxville expanding employee benefits to same-sex, domestic partners". WBIR. October 17, 2013.
- "City Council Passes Controversial Domestic Partners Ordinance". chattanoogan.com. November 12, 2013.
- "In final vote, Chattanooga City Council approves same sex benefits". timesfreepress.com. November 19, 2013.
- "City Ordinance Ready That Grants "Domestic Partners" Same Healthcare, Medical Benefits". chattanoogan.com. November 1, 2013.
- "Chattanooga Tea Party Hosting Forum on Domestic Partnership Ordinance". newschannel9.com. November 15, 2013.
- "Petitions block Chattanooga's new domestic partner benefits law". timesfreepress.com. December 14, 2013.
- "Chattanooga residents to vote on domestic partner benefits". timesfreepress.com. January 8, 2014.
- "Poll: Chattanooga voters oppose domestic partnership ordinance". nooga.com. January 8, 2014.
- Ordinance 12781
- "Metro Council approves domestic partner benefits". The Tennessean. June 17, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- Mayor Signs Domestic Partner Benefits Into Law
- "Poll: 62 percent in Tennessee against gay marriage". The Knoxville News Sentinel. March 5, 2013.
- "In Tennessee, Gay Marriage Has Young Doubting Republicans". Bloomberg. Jun 3, 2013.
- "END OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2013". Vanderbilt University. May 14, 2013.