published Monday, October 21st, 2013

Same-sex couples file lawsuit in Tennessee

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four same-sex couples legally married in other states have filed a lawsuit challenging Tennessee's law that prohibits recognition of their marriages.

The lawsuit was filed today in federal district court in Nashville. It argues that Tennessee's laws violate the federal Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, gay couples who are legally married in states that allow it are given equal federal footing with all other married Americans.

In Tennessee, however, marriage between partners of the same gender is prohibited by state law and constitutional amendment.

The filing today comes amid New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's decision to drop his legal challenge to same-sex marriage, making New Jersey the 14th state to allow gay marriages.

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