Same-sex couples prepare for appeals hearing
For 10 months, Regina Lambert has been coordinating media interviews for her star plaintiffs: a lesbian couple with a newborn daughter who want family health insurance and marital rights.
They’ve talked to local TV stations, state newspapers and national wire services.
But when a TV reporter put a microphone on Lambert earlier this year and asked why the case was important to her, the longtime corporate lawyer who has never done activist work before took a moment to answer.
“In that short period of time, I remember thinking, ‘You cannot ask people to put their lives out there and to share so much and open themselves up and not be willing to answer the question,’” she recalled.
So, she was honest.
Lambert and her partner, Jackie Stanfill, have been together 25 years. They married in Vermont last summer.
If Lambert’s team wins this same-sex marriage case, the state of Tennessee will have to recognize her union along with the marriages of the three couples in the lawsuit and scores of other gay and lesbian couples across the state.
This week, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is slated to hear oral arguments in the case — or at least on a preliminary injunction in the case.