Knoxville couple celebrates same-sex marriage recognition

(WBIR-Knoxville) A same-sex couple in Knoxville is celebrating a federal judge's ruling Friday.

Judge Aleta Trauger in Nashville ordered that several same-sex marriages be recognized, at least for the moment. Trauger granted a preliminary injunction against the state's ban.

The ruling only applies to three couples who filed a lawsuit against Tennessee in federal court back in October. All three moved to Tennessee after getting married in states that recognized their marriages.

The decision came just in time for Sophy Jesty and Valeria Tanco of Knoxville, who are also part of the federal lawsuit. The couple married in New York in 2011. But when they moved to Tennessee, their marriage was no longer recognized.

"We feel fantastic. We feel great. We couldn't feel better," Jesty said.

This news is extra special to the couple because they are expecting their first child, Emilia. Tanco's due date is approaching.

"The timing is absolutely wonderful for us. We're so relieved, so delighted, and so thankful. Emilia's going to show up any day and she's going to show up with two legally recognized parents," Jesty said.

The federal judge's ruling means if something happens to Tanco, Jesty has the same parental rights any married couple would receive in Tennessee.

"When we got pregnant, it changed very much for us. It really became a moment when it was much more important to us to try and get ourselves some family rights," Jesty said.

Even though Emilia will be born into a state that recognizes her parents' marriage, this is a temporary decision. The ruling will be upheld until the court reviews the case at a later time.

"We always think of those people who are not as lucky as we are," Tanco said. "To be able to speak up for them because they can't, because they're scared of being fired or ousted from their family ties. It's very meaningful to us."

The couple is expecting their first child any day now.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment