A state judge in Tennessee ruled in favor of the voter-approved constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This is the first time a judge has upheld such an amendment since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2013.
The Tennessee case involves two men who obtained a marriage license in Iowa four years ago. The couple is now seeking a divorce in Tennessee.
In the decision, Roane County Circuit Judge Russell E. Simmons “rejected the idea that the Windsor decision undercut state authority,” Supreme Court reporter Lyle Dennison wrote on ScotusBlog.com.
Though the ruling applies only to this couple, it’s still notable.
“The value of this decision is in being able to counter the Left’s boasting that same-sex marriage is a ‘done deal’ in the courts. It’s not,” said Focus on the Family Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht. “And if the recent oral arguments in the 6th Circuit cases involving marriage amendments — of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan — provide any clues as to that court’s upcoming decision, it looks like those states’ right to define marriage as one-man, one-woman could receive a huge judicial boost as well.”
A similar case has been heard at the Texas Supreme Court. A decision has not been issued. Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, applauds Simmons for respecting marriage.
“The federal government and activist judges have no authority to redefine marriage in Tennessee, Texas, or any other state,” he explained. “It should continue to be a state’s right to recognize the ‘best definition of marriage’ and affirm the unique good that a mom and dad play in a child’s life. We will continue to proudly stand for what’s right, no matter how hard the federal government and the out-of-control judiciary tries to redefine marriage against the will of the people and states.”
“The definition of marriage is a state issue, as Justice Kennedy told us in last summer’sWindsor decision,” he said. “It’s time that the courts took him at his word.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the decision in Borman v. Borman.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Citizen Link.