TN Judge Refuses To Divorce Couple, Blaming SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling

AP

A judge in Tennessee told a married couple seeking a divorce that he could not grant one for them, arguing that the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision left him unclear as to when a marriage ends.

“The conclusion reached by this Court is that Tennesseans have been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court to be incompetent to define and address such keystone/central institutions such as marriage, and, thereby, at minimum, contested divorces,” Hamilton County Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton wrote when denying the divorce petition, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

He said that the Supreme Court needed to declare “when a marriage is no longer a marriage” for state courts to begin granting divorces, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The couple — Thomas Bumgardner, 65, and his wife, Pamela, 61 — had petitioned for divorce because their marriage was “irretrievably broken.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.
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