Political Reaction To Gay Marriage Rulings Mixed In Tennessee

The Tennessee Equality Project filed briefs in support of plaintiffs in both Supreme Court cases decided Wednesday. Credit: TEP via Facebook

The Tennessee Equality Project filed briefs in support of plaintiffs in both Supreme Court cases decided Wednesday. Credit: TEP via Facebook

Nashville’s Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper says he is pleased with Wednesday’s Supreme Court rulings in support of gay marriage. But Tennessee Republicans say they are troubled.

State Sen. Jim Tracy is running for Congress in the district representing Murfreesboro and Shelbyville.

“I think it’s a sad day in America. The institution of marriage is sacred in my opinion. Now they’ve shot it down. But I think it’s going to give us more importance at the state level to make sure marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Tennessee’s voters already passed a constitutional amendment in 2006 restricting marriage in the state to one man and one woman. The Supreme Court rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act are being interpreted as having no immediate affect on Tennessee law.

Democrat Jim Cooper was not in Congress when DOMA passed, but he says in a statement – quote – “equality under the law should apply to all Americans, and now we’re one step closer towards fulfilling that promise.”

Vanderbilt graduate student Electa Baker has been with her partner Jennifer for seven years. “We’ve always felt like we were committed, as committed as any married couple,” Baker says. Both have been married to men before. ” So we appreciate what we don’t have as far as legal protection. But we understand that our relationship is permanent to us although it lacks legal formality. But yeah, we’ve gotta get married.” Baker says she and her partner now planned to get married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.

Meanwhile, Nashville attorney Abby Rubenfeld tells The Tennessean that she has couples “lined up” to fight Tennessee’s ban on same-sex marriage in court.

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