Judge tells straight couple they can’t divorce because of gay marriage

Later in his ruling, Atherton says the Supreme Court has an “iron fist and a limp wrist”.


Now, Atherton contends, it is up to the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify “when a marriage is no longer a marriage”.

Another elected official has challenged the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage – this time, a judge in Hamilton County, Tennessee.

A straight couple have been left married against their wishes after a Tennessee judge denied their divorce petition.


Penny White, a former Tennessee Supreme Court member and now a professor at University of Tennessee College of Law, said regardless of person opinions, judges must defer to Supreme Court rulings. Second, he is implicitly rejecting the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, using it as an excuse not to perform those duties that he is required, by law, to perform.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Atherton’s decision had ruffled the local legal community, with some lawyers questioning the legality of his ruling while others believe he was expressing his personal opposition to gay marriage.

Atherton concludes that, after four days of testimony making the case for the Bumgardner’s mutual reasoning of “irreconcilable differences”, the marriages is not “irretrievably broken” and can be saved. The most high profile of these is Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who has refused to issue marriage licences on religious grounds.

The state court judge said he is in a bit of a “quandary”: if the Supreme Court decided “what must be recognized as a marriage”, Tennessee’ s judiciary has to wait to see what the high court decides is not a marriage.


Yes, an actual judge whose decisions affect major aspects of people’s lives just advanced the “Are you calling me dumb?” The couple will be allowed to file for divorce again but will have to come up with new reasons.

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