State Supreme Court allows gay marriage amendment to appear on ballot

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state Supreme Court ruled today that Tennesseans will be allowed to vote in November on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a lawsuit charging that the state failed to meet the requirements outlined in the Tennessee Constitution.

It specifies an amendment proposal must be published six months before the next General Assembly election, but the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the ACLU did not have standing to file the suit.

The decision upholds an earlier ruling by a Davidson County judge who allowed the measure defining marriage as between one man and one woman to stay on the November seventh ballot.

The state already has a statute banning gay marriage but lawmakers who supported the amendment said they wanted to ensure judges couldn't rule that law unconstitutional. All state Supreme Court judges face a popular retention vote on the November ballot.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)