Lesbian couples file a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23: Republican Governors Association Chairman and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam holds a news conference at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce February 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. Republican and Democratic governors met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Monday during the last day of the National Governors Association winter meeting. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A number of lesbian couples are suing the US state of Tennessee over a newly introduced law demanding ‘natural and ordinary’ legal definitions. The law was enacted by Governor Bill Haslam last week and is feared to have the potential to challenge a Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriage equality in the USA on the federal level. Haslam, as well as the state itself and the state Department of Health and its commissioner were named in the lawsuit filed on Monday in Davidson County Chancery Court. 4 female couples who stood as plaintiffs in the legal case are expecting children conceived with artificial insemination. According to LGBT advocates in Tennessee, the law’s “natural and ordinary meaning” clause could undermines same-sex couples in any statute including the words “husband, wife, mother and father”. The bill states without explanation that the “meaning” should be “without forced or subtle construction that would limit or extend the meaning of the language.” Governor insists the law won’t create any legal precedents differing from those that already exist. “While I understand the concerns raised about this bill, the Obergefell decision is the law of the land, and this legislation does not change a principle relied upon by the courts for more than a century, mitigating the substantive impact of this legislation,” he stated. The law opposes the rights of same-sex and transgender parents.


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