Will marriages begin immediately in Tennessee if the Supreme Court strikes down the ban?

I often get asked a great question--"Will county clerks immediately begin providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples if the Supreme Court strikes down the ban?"

Maybe, but probably not.

Here's why.

First, most if not all county clerks will check with their county law director, who is probably going to be looking for guidance from the Tennessee Attorney General.  It's not clear how much time that process might take.

Second, clerks may be delayed because they need new forms from Vital Records in the Tennessee Department of Health.

Neither interpreting the opinion nor creating and sending out new forms SHOULD take long, but state government doesn't always work on our timetable.  It may take hours or days. 

The other issue to consider is that Supreme Court rulings often take effect 25 days later.  We don't know whether the situation will be different with this opinion.

So we're going to be ready for immediate marriages or the delays.  If the delays drag on at the state level or with individual county clerks, we will work with our partners at the ACLU-TN and other local attorneys to break through the logjam.

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