Dialogue: Gay Marriage In Tennessee

Sep 23, 2014

Val Tanco, left, and Sophy Jesty with their daughter Emilia
Credit freedomtomarry.org

Val Tanco and Sophy Jesty were married three years ago in New York, a state where their same-sex marriage is legally recognized.  Then they moved to Tennessee, a state where it’s not.  Their legal challenge to Tennessee’s gay marriage law is part of a national movement changing the conversation about the future of gay rights in America.  Val Tanco, Sophy Jesty and their attorney Regina Lambert join host Matt Shafer Powell for this installment of Dialogue.  

Read the complaint

Article XI Section 18 of the Tennessee State Constitution reads:

"The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state. Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one (1) man and one (1) woman, is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee. If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry and if such marriage is prohibited in this state by the provisions of this section, then the marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state."