Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Judge who overturned TN sodomy law retiring

The Tennessean featured a profile today of 5th Circuit Judge Walter Kurtz, who is retiring. .

Judge Kurtz recalls being told he would burn in Hell for his ruling that overturned the TN sodomy statute. He's taken a number of tough cases in his time, but says that public opinion really hasn't played a large role in his decisions: "People may think judges are more sensitive to public opinion than I believe we are," he said. "We took oaths. We are legally bound and committed to carry out our obligations."

He is married to Ellen Hobbs Lyle, a Davidson County chancery judge. If you remember, she is the judge who ruled against the challenge brought to the marriage amendment by the ACLU.

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