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Tenn. Standing Firm on Same-Sex Marriage Ban

(CN) - The state of Tennessee asked the Supreme Court on Monday not to review a decision upholding the Volunteer State's same-sex marriage ban.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III filed the brief opposing a writ of certiorari petition to the 6th Circuit. On Nov. 6, that appeals court upheld gay marriage bans in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.

The petition for a writ of certiorari was filed by three-same couples who were married in different states and now live in Tennessee. They seek a review of the 6th Circuit decision.

In his brief in opposition, Slatery argues that, "[d]etermining that state laws codifying the traditional definition of marriage do not burden a fundamental right and do not involve a suspect classification, the court found that such laws have a rational basis."

The attorney general argues Tennessee has the same right as states that allow same-sex marriage to define marriage as it sees fit, citing United States vs. Windsor.

"Just as New York's (and California's) decision to expand its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples was 'without doubt a proper exercise of its sovereign authority within our federal system,' so too was Tennessee's decision to embrace and maintain the traditional definition of marriage a proper exercise of its own sovereign authority within our federal system," Slatery's brief states.

Windsor was a landmark 2013 decision wherein the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

"Contrary to petitioners' assertions, the Sixth Circuit decision here does not at all conflict with Windsor," the brief states. "The Sixth Circuit recognized that 'Windsor hinges on the Defense of Marriage Act's unprecedented intrusion into the states' authority over domestic relations.'"

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