In June, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, but not everyone is having an easy time accepting the law of the land according to the highest courts. That is exactly what is going on in Tennessee, as two lawmakers in the state just unveiled a new bill that would nullify gay marriage within the state completely.
This bill is being seen as a direct opposition to the Supreme Court ruling, which was for the record the case that led to the legalization of gay marriage nationwide was Obergefell vs. Hodges. This bill is titled “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” and it was just filed on Thursday by state representatives Mae Beavers and Mark Pody. This bill strictly defines marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. The bill specifically says that “Natural marriage between one man and one woman as recognized by the people of Tennessee remains the law in Tennessee, regardless of any court decision to the contrary.” The text of the bill also went on to say that any of the courts decisions that would strike down natural marriage, such as in the court case Obergefell vs. Hodges, would be of no effect and is both avoid and unauthoritative. Tennessee is one state that the voters had passed an amendment overwhelmingly, which then would ban same-sex marriage, which happened back in 2006. The issue though is that the state and all of the other states have been precluded from banning gay marriage licenses after the ruling in June from the Supreme Court. When the state’s General Assembly takes up this bill, it is unlikely that the bill would even be seen as constitution even if it did pass. According to Beavers, she said that the views Tennessee has on same-sex marriage should trump what the Supreme Court says, because she said the Supreme Court decision was a clear overstep of authority, meaning that the rights of the state should trump federal law, as that is how it is supposed to be done.
Beavers also went on to say that the people in Tennessee should stand up against judicial tyranny, and then went onto say that Thomas Jefferson tried to warn us about this many years ago. There are eight pages to the text document in which Beavers and Pody explained clearly and directly why they both belief that the state should be allowed to ignore, and also has a duty to ignore the ruling of the Supreme Court on the issue of gay marriage. Part of the eight page text says that the gay marriage order from the Supreme Court should be “resisted” and also there is an argument for the decision by the Supreme Court to be considered an “unlawful order.” The bill also wants the state’s attorney general to defend the officials in the state from any types of lawsuits that could come if the bill was enacted and gay marriage was found to be invalid and void. The bill also says that no state or local agency or other official should levy on property or arrest of any government official or individual that does not comply with the court order which is unlawful when it comes to natural marriage within the state.
The bill also said that no local agency or official or state official or agency should force or enforce a court order in which clearly violates Tennessee laws regarding and protecting natural marriage. As for when this eight page bill would be considered by the lawmakers, the General Assembly of Tennessee does not come back into the next legislative session until January, which is when the next season of the General Assembly will begin working on bills and voting on the important issues within the state. There has not been any other lawmakers that have come out to say that they would support the bill, although Tennessee is generally a fairly conservative state, which makes it seem like there might be more lawmakers willing to vote yes for the natural type of marriage. Even if the Tennessee General Assembly votes to implement a ban on gay marriage, it is not known if it could even take effect due to the Supreme Court law, and it is likely that the Supreme Court could step in on this case if it gets that far. Even though the bill says government officials cannot be sued for not issuing gay marriage licenses, you can sue anyone in America for any reason, especially if you take the issue straight to the Supreme Court or file an appeal with the circuit courts. If this works, don’t be surprised if other states also follow suit to outlaw gay marriage.