Supreme Court Strikes Down Tennessee Marriage Ban

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June 26, 2015

CONTACT: Lindsay Kee, ACLU-TN communications director, 615-320-7142

NASHVILLE – The United States Supreme Court ruled today in Obergefell v. Hodges to uphold the freedom to marry in all fifty states. The Court’s ruling ensures that states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and strikes down state marriage bans, including Tennessee’s.

Obergefell v. Hodges was a consolidated case that challenged laws in Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio that banned the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and prohibited recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. ACLU was counsel on the Ohio and Kentucky petitions, and filed an amicus brief in the Tennessee case, Tanco v. Haslam.

The following can be attributed to Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee:

“Today we celebrate history in the making with this momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion and, above all, love. The Supreme Court’s decision ensures that loving, committed same-sex couples in Tennessee and nationwide who want to build and share a life together will be treated with the same respect and dignity as everyone else. Marriage is a basic freedom that should not be denied to anyone—and today, freedom means freedom for everyone.”

Additional Information on Marriage Equality in Tennessee

Tennessee Marriage Equality Resource Center – ACLU-TN has prepared an online resource center that includes information on what the Court’s decision in Obergefell will mean for Tennessee residents and how to navigate the requirements for getting married in Tennessee.

Open Letter to County Clerks and Attorneys – ACLU-TN today sent a letter to county clerks and attorneys statewide regarding the Obergefell decision and its implication that clerks immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples upon request.

Marriage License Denials — ACLU-TN encourages any same-sex couples who are denied a marriage license to contact us at

Tennessee Marriage Equality Plaintiffs and Attorneys To Be Honored – ACLU-TN will honor the Tennessee plaintiffs and attorneys involved in the Tanco v. Haslam marriage equality case at its September 30 Bill of Rights Celebration.

The ACLU has been working for the rights of LGBT people since 1936, when it brought its first gay rights case. The organization also filed the first freedom-to-marry lawsuit for same-sex couples in 1970, represented Edie Windsor in her successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013, and has filed sixteen federal court marriage lawsuits on behalf of same-sex couples since the Windsor decision.

2016-07-07T12:17:59+00:00 June 26th, 2015|Categories: Press Releases|