ACLU to challenge proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Tennessee

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee announced Thursday it intends to file a lawsuit challenging a proposed state constitutional ban on gay marriage, a measure that supporters had contended would keep the issue out of the hands of "activist judges."

The state house and senate overwhelmingly approved the plans to amend the Tennessee constitution last month with the idea of putting it in the hands of voters in 2006. A day after it cleared the house in March, the ACLU said it probably would sue.

So far the tactic hasn't gotten in the way of anti-same-sex marriage amendments put in place in 17 states in recent years, although one court in Louisiana temporarily halted a constitutional ban there until the state supreme court stepped in earlier this year.

Still, ACLU executive director Hedy Weinberg said at the time that her organization is "committed to challenging the constitutional amendment denying gay men and lesbians the right to marry."
Tennessee is one of five states where a proposed ban has passed through a legislature this year and is on its way to voters. (AP)

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