Same-sex couples sue over Tennessee ‘natural meaning’ law


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Four married lesbian couples expecting children through artificial insemination are suing over a new Tennessee law that requires using the “natural and ordinary meaning” of words in state law.

The couples sued Gov. Bill Haslam, the state of Tennessee and the state Department of Health and its commissioner Monday in Davidson County Chancery Court.

The lawsuit says the couples fear the law will be used to interpret gender-specific words, including “father” and “mother,” literally so one parent won’t be recognized and rights can be denied.

The lawsuit asks a judge to declare that would be an impermissible, gender-based denial of equal protection.

Haslam signed the law Friday after lawmakers approved it. He has said it doesn’t change that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage the law of the land.