Tennessee judge rules gay couples have equal parental rights

Posted at 1:48 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 13:48:07-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that same-sex couples in Tennessee have the same rights as heterosexual couples who have children born through artificial insemination.

Four lesbian couples sued after the state passed a law that requires using the "natural and ordinary meaning" of words in state law. Gay rights groups said the requirement was a sneaky way to deny same-sex couples the legal rights and protections granted to a "husband," a "wife," a "father" or "mother."

The Tennessean reports that Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle's ruling Friday dismissed the couples' lawsuit, saying they didn't prove their rights had been violated. The couples' first child is not expected until September.

Still, they heralded the ruling as a victory because it will give them equal parental rights when the children are born.