Same-sex marriages continue to be an area of contention for legal purposes. Some states, including Tennessee, have yet to finalize the laws that pertain to same-sex marriages, divorces and child custody matters. Recently, it came to light that 53 state legislators, all Republicans, have joined forces with the Family Action Council of Tennessee to try to jump in the middle of a legal battle between a same-sex divorcing couple.
The Constitutional Government Defense Fund is the legal arm that is representing these 53 legislators who are trying to get in the middle of a divorce between two women. Tennessee still doesn’t have laws that recognize same-sex marriage, but the women’s marriage was validated by the ruling from the United States Supreme Court last year.
The two women were married in Washington, D.C. in April of 2014. One woman had a daughter via artificial insemination. There is now a battle about whether the woman who is not the biological mother has a right to continue to remain involved in the little girl’s life. A Knox County Circuit Court judge ruled that the woman doesn’t have any rights to the child.
The legislators are essentially saying that they agree with the interpretation of the judge. The biological mother of the child is arguing that the other woman should be held as the child’s parent. The judge presiding over the case cleared it to go to appeal and has put the divorce on hold until the court of appeals decides if it will hear the case.
Same-sex marriage in Tennessee is a new area of the law. This means that same-sex couples will likely face difficult battles when it comes to all aspects of divorce, including child custody. Knowing how to work on these cases is crucial.
Source: The Tennessean, “53 GOP lawmakers seek to intervene in Tennessee gay couple’s divorce,” Tom Humphrey, Sep. 12, 2016