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Gay Couples Explain the Lawsuit Demanding Tennessee Recognize Their Marriages: VIDEO


Yesterday, Towleroad reported that four gay couples in Tennessee are suing the state for recognition of their marriages. They held a press conference yesterday shortly after the suit was announced at which the lead attorneys and plaintiffs spoke out, the Tennesseean reports:

The four couples were married in New York or California, where same-sex marriages are legal, and argue that Tennessee’s refusal to recognize their marriages violates their constitutional rights. The couples hail from across the state: Matthew Mansell and Johno Espejo, of Franklin; Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty, of Knoxville; Ijpe DeKoe and Thomas Kostura, from Memphis, and Kellie Miller and Vanessa DeVillez, of Greenbrier...

...“Like other families, we want to have rights and obligations and protections under the law,” she said. “Val and I are pregnant. We’re expecting our baby girl in March and honestly it’s frightening to me to consider if something goes wrong at the time of the delivery, because as it stands right now I don’t have a legal right to make decisions on Val’s behalf, decisions on our baby’s behalf.”


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  1. If she wants to make health care decisions for Val if Val is incapacitated, she merely has to have Val fill out a Tennessee Appointment of Health Care Agent form, and have it witnessed or notarized. You don't need to be married to be a Health Care Agent.

    Her rationale for suing should be to list the benefits one *has* to be married to obtain, such as tax advantages.

    Posted by: Vint | Oct 22, 2013 8:51:28 AM

  2. Unfortunately certain states still have to fight for equal treatment, especially southern states. As other states treat their citizens with dignity and equality, states who are not equal have begun the fight. Equality shouldn't be made so difficult to achieve in America considering it's founding principles. However the fight will make victory all the sweeter.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Oct 22, 2013 9:09:00 AM

  3. Definitely not the most important fact of this case, but lawyer Abby Rubenfeld is the sister of actor Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman.

    Posted by: Thomasina | Oct 22, 2013 10:35:30 AM

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