IF THE SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS THE BAN: If the Supreme Court overturns state bans on same-sex marriage, then we need to share information in a way that helps the whole community. Even if you're not getting married, you can help those who are by following these steps:
STEP 1--Let us know if you are planning to get married in Tennessee. You can take that step NOW before the court rules. Use this form.
STEP 2--AFTER the Court rules, call your county clerk's office and determine whether they are issuing licenses to same-sex couples. You can find the contact information here. NOTE: You can take this step even if you are not getting married. Remember: Most county clerks will NOT immediately begin issuing licenses. They will probably check in with the county attorney on how to proceed. In the case of Nashville, the county clerk would check with the Metro law director. There will probably be delays until clerks get revised forms from State government, which have not been prepared yet, according to media accounts. But here are some steps YOU can take if you want to get married or help.
STEP 3--Email TEP at [email protected] and let us know whether your clerk is a YES or a NO on issuing licenses so that we can let others know.
STEP 4--If your clerk is a YES, go to the clerk's office. If you're getting married, get your license. Here is a refresher on what you will need legally to get married. NOTE: The fee is different in each county. Some are as high as $108. Most are lower. If you're not getting married, consider going to observe to make sure same-sex couples are not being harassed. Report problems or successes at this link or to [email protected] . Take a minute to think about your safety plan.
STEP 5--If your county clerk is NOT providing licenses to same-sex couples, you have two options: A. We can try to route you to a county where the clerk is providing licenses. Email us at [email protected] if you need help finding one. OR B. Go ahead and apply for a license, get refused, and report it to us at this link or at [email protected] so we can get legal help. We are working with attorneys who can get the whole state into compliance.
STEP 6: Find an officiant/a celebrant who can perform your marriage and sign the license. Your license is good for 30 days. If you need help, contact us at this link or at [email protected] . Many officiants charge a fee for their services. If you have questions about who may officiate/celebrate a wedding and sign a marriage license in Tennessee, go to this link for more information. Also make sure you read our word of caution about getting an officiant who was ordained online.
FOR OFFICIANTS/CELEBRANTS: If you are a celebrant/an officiant authorized under Tennessee law to perform marriages, let us know at this link any time between now and DAY ONE. NOTE: If you require marriage counseling in order to perform a ceremony, do not contact us. That will not help couples wanting to marry on DAY ONE. Also if you perform ceremonies but don't sign marriage licenses because you have an objection to acting on behalf of the state or some other objection, we respect your wishes, but ask that you not contact us because we are looking for help for couples who need their licenses signed and may not have many options.
IF THE SUPREME COURT DOES NOT OVERTURN THE BAN: In the sad and, we think, unlikely event that the Supreme Court does not overturn the state bans on same-sex marriage, we will rally and protest and talk about next steps. Look for information on the TEP Facebook page.