The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments on Wednesday on the future of same-sex marriage in Tennessee. Six couples are hoping their stories will lead to the overrule of a ban.
"Increasingly, judges are viewing marriage inequality as a violation of the 14th Amendment," said Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project. "We think time is on our side."
Couples from Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan will all share how they've been hurt by the same-sex marriage ban. Their concerns include missing out on family insurance coverage and not being able to see partners in medical emergencies.
"It'll show the fullness of the harms of marriage discrimination," said Sanders. "That's something our legislature has completely ignored."
In the case of Sophy Jesty and Val Tanco of Knoxville, they were wed in New York and are no longer considered married in Tennessee. This brings the couple concerns over their child's custody if Tanco passed away.
"I would not legally in the state of Tennessee be automatically considered the other parent of that child," said Jesty.
David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee said Wednesday will only be a step on the way to a Supreme Court decision, though he's still hoping the three-judge panel will rule against same-sex marriage.
"Once marriage is unhinged from the biological roots that have been there for a millennium, marriage isn't redefined, it is undefined," said Fowler. "It's not even saying that marriage should even be limited to two people. Any relationship that people want to have and call a marriage will be entitled to become a marriage."
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