Will the South be the place where marriage inequality finally meets its demise? The latest ruling from a federal court proves that even traditionally gay-unfriendly Dixie can’t withstand the force of law. U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger has ruled that Tennessee must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed elsewhere and said point blank that the state’s ban on marriage equality is doomed.
“At this point, all signs indicate that, in the eyes of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs’ marriages will be placed on an equal footing with those of heterosexual couples and that proscriptions against same-sex marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American history,” Trauger, a Clinton appointee, wrote in her opinion.
The Tennessee case was brought by three couples who were married elsewhere but who live in Tennessee. At present, the ruling applies only to those couples, but it’s plain from Trauger’s ruling that the state’s ban on marriage is on life support. Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper issued a statement saying that his office would “take all necessary steps to defend the law.” He could save taxpayers a lot of money if he followed the example of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who refuses to defend his state’s ban on marriage because it’s wrong. We guess Cooper will just have to learn that lesson the hard way, from more court cases.