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Court Orders Tennessee To Recognize Three Same Sex Marriages -- Sky Arnold

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) --Matthew Mansell and John Espejo have been together for 19 years.

The same sex couple married in California in 2008 and have two adopted children.

 "We are a regular family unit," said Mansell.

A job transfer brought the family to Tennessee nearly two years ago and Mansell says he was concerned about how his marriage would be viewed.

State law in Tennessee does not recognize same sex marriages performed legally in other states so Mansell joined two other couples in suing.

"It's not fair for us to live in this state that doesn't recognize us but we can move to New York and they would," said Mansell.

Federal Judge Aleta trauger appears to agree with them.

In a preliminary injunction released Friday, Judge Aleta Trauger says the plaintiff's are "likely to prevail" in their suit against Tennessee.

The injunction forces Tennessee to recognize only the three couples that sued and opponents like David Fowler with the Family Action Council of Tennessee believe it's only a matter of time before more are added.

"I think we can expect the judge will complete her attack against the will of the people the rights of states the institution of marriage in the coming months," said Fowler.

Fowler was among the leaders who helped pass a Constitutional Amendment in 2006 defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

He believes this ruling is an attack on what Tennessee voters want.

"It's just part of a well defined strategy to ultimately impose same sex marriage on all states across the nation," said Fowler.

Mansell has a smaller goal in mind.

He hopes his lawsuit eventually grants recognition for every couple in the state who are married by law but not in Tennessee.

 "It means that we're recognized.  That we're a valid unit.  that wen're not ostracized in a sense," said Mansell.