As early as Thursday, the Supreme Court could legalize same-sex marriage unions across the country.
The case before the court questions whether same-sex marriage bans in Tennessee and 12 other states are constitutional. Constitutional law professor Stewart Scott predicts the Supreme Court will choose to redefine the country’s legal definition of marriage.
“This is going to be a watershed decision for the entire country,” Scott said.
Gay rights advocates like Beth Sluder with Pflag Tri-Cities are confident a landmark victory is just around the corner for gay couples across Tennessee.
“We’re very optimistic. We have all but 13 states legalized at this point so there’s really no going backwards,” Sluder said.
As a progressive pastor in one of those 13 states, Johnson City Associate Reverend Thomas Artist, Jr. of Landmark Free Holiness Church said the ruling is a matter of same-sex rights.
“We just want to be treated like anyone else. Our marriage is just as valid our love is just as equal as any other love,” Artist said.
For same-sex marriage advocates like Basil Williams, getting to marry his partner in his home state of Tennessee would be the icing on on his wedding cake.
“That’s probably one of the biggest things as we’ve started planning is to realize, ‘hey, we’re going to be able to do it here, not go out of state.’ It brings a lot of joy. It really does,” Williams said.
Beyond a marriage license, Williams said having his marriage legally recognized would provide a concrete foundation for the future.
“To be able to have those rights that if something should happen to myself or happen to him, that the state does recognize that we are committed to one another – not that it’s just some fantasy that we’re living in,” Williams said.
But even if the Supreme Court ruling keeps same-sex marriage in Tennessee from becoming a reality, supporters vow to continue to push for their right to take the plunge.
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