Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; June 26, 2013:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner and State Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) are applauding today’s Supreme Court decision which declared DOMA as unconstitutional.
“Today was a victory for the dignity of men and women across the country who wish to enjoy equal protection under the law,” said Rep. Jones. “Most Tennesseans agree that couples in a loving and committed relationship deserve to be treated equally.”
In a poll released by Vanderbilt University, a plurality of Tennesseans showed support for marriage equality or civil unions. According to the poll, 49% favored full marriage rights or civil union protections.
“Polls consistently show that the American people are evolving on the issue of marriage equality,” said Chairman Turner. “This decision is a positive step forward for people who believe that a state should be allowed to recognize all relationships and be treated fairly by the federal government.”
The decision today in U.S. v. Windsor will allow all couples with state recognized marriage licenses the ability to access the more than 1,000 federal benefits these taxpaying citizens were previously denied. In the courts majority opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote that “DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.”