TN Lawmaker’s Bill That Would ‘Void’ Same-Sex Marriages Scheduled For Vote


Legislation Would Cost Taxpayers $8.5 Billion Annually

Tennessee Republican state Representative Mark Pody's signature bill, the Natural Marriage Defense Act, has been green-lighted for a vote by the House Civil Justice Subcommittee next week.

The bill would declare all marriages of same-sex couples "void and unenforceable in Tennessee."

It would also declare any "court decision purporting to strike down natural marriage," including the historic Obergefell v. Hodges decision that found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage, "unauthoritative, void, and of no effect."

Rep. Pody, who has been fighting to pass his bill since last year, in December told supporters, "I believe God talks to me in prayer," and added that God told him to file the bill.

The bill, HB 1412, would also require the state Attorney General to defend in court any and all lawsuits against the State and its employees who refuse to honor the legal marriages of same-sex couples, making it "the policy of the State of Tennessee to defend natural marriage as recognized by the people of Tennessee, in the Constitution and laws of the State of Tennessee, consistent with natural law, and the written United States Constitution."

A state-required fiscal impact report finds the legislation, should it become law, would cost the taxpayers of Tennessee $8.5 billion annually. Those costs do not appear to include court and legal costs. The majority of the costs would come as the withdrawal of federal funding of Tennessee's Obamacare program, food stamps (SNAP), and welfare payments (TANF).

As NCRM reported last week, the legislation compares same-sex marriage to forced sterilization and Japanese internment, and its language in parts is identical to a South Carolina bill of the same name.

Lawmakers will vote on the bill, which is clearly unconstitutional, Wednesday, January 20. 

The Tennessee Equality Project is fighting the legislation:


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