gay marriage

Lawsuit challenging same-sex marriage dismissed in Bradley County

Former Sen. David Fowler (R-Signal Mountain), right, speaks to Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-Nashville) on March 7, 2018.

Different court, same result. A judge in Bradley County has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former state Sen. David Fowler, the head of the state chapter of the Family Action Council, seeking to challenge same-sex marriage licenses in Tennessee, the Cleveland Banner reports.

The case was filed on behalf of the Rev. Guinn E. Green, pastor of the Kinser Church of God, and Bradley County Commissioner Howard Thompson against County Clerk Donna Simpson for issuing the marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The lawsuit claimed the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling had essentially voided Tennessee’s marriage laws, which define that union as being only being being a man and a woman.

In his ruling late last week, Circuit Court Judge Michael Pemberton noted a similar case, Grant et. al. v.  Elaine Anderson, was decided by the Tennessee Court of Appeals in May 2018. It found the petitioners did not have standing to bring the case.

“Given the identical nature in each case,” Pemberton said, he was “constrained to follow the law set down by the Court of Appeals.”

Continue reading