US: Tennessee judge will not grant same-sex couple’s divorce

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A Tennessee judge has decided that two men who were married in Iowa cannot be granted a divorce because the state doesn’t recognise their marriage.

Circuit Court Judge Russell Simmons Jr. upheld Tennessee’s marriage ban in his decision, saying current state laws banning same-sex marriage do not violate the US Constitution.

Simmons stated in the decision: “The battle is not between whether or not marriage is a fundamental right but what unions are included in the definition of marriage.”

He said each state should have the ability to define marriage in its own terms.

After under an hour’s hearing in the case in late June, the judge announced that he would issue a written opinion.

Earlier today, voters in a Tennessee town which recently introduced health benefits for domestic partners of gay city employees chose to overturn the legislation.