• Source: Tennessee House
  • Breaking: Tennessee Lawmakers Kill Bill That Would Void Same-Sex Marriage, Cost $8.5 Billion

    Tennessee Subcommittee Kills Bill To Void All Same-Sex Marriages – For Now

    Tennessee State Rep. Mark Pody's bill that would have voided all marriages of same-sex couples, costing taxpayers an estimated $8.5 billion, has been defeated. Lawmakers on the House Civil Justice Subcommittee listened to religious and legal arguments for about 90 minutes, but on a voice vote elected to not move the legislation forward.

    The Natural Marriage Defense Act would have declared all marriages of same-sex couples "void and unenforceable in Tennessee," specifically citing the Supreme Court's decision last year in Obergefell, stating it is invalid and that the State would ignore it.

    As NCRM first reported last week, a state-required fiscal impact report found 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).

    While some of the debate focused on constitutional issues, including nullification of a Supreme Court ruling, some, thanks to pastors who spoke before the committee, included traditional anti-gay rhetoric. One pastor warned that same-sex marriage is “the invasion of the wicked agenda that is coming against the Church.”

    “The ultimate authority that can nullify this law is the God of the Bible,” lawmakers were told.

    Lawmakers were begged to offer Tennessee pastors "relief" from the fear of being forced to marry same-sex couples, despite the obvious fact that the First Amendment would prohibit such a governmental action. One speaker insisted that clerks charged with issuing marriage licenses are upset for having to do their job for same-sex couples. Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was mentioned.

    While welcome, the defeat should be viewed as temporary. Rep. Pody says that God talks to him personally, and directed him to file this legislation. 

    At the last minute an attempt was made to hold the bill over but on technical grounds that was not allowed. It should be expected the legislation, perhaps in a different format, will be filed again in the next session.

     

    This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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    • commented 2016-07-08 21:49:05 -0400
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    • commented 2016-01-20 19:13:55 -0500
      My Governor, Nathan Deal [R-GA], played follow the leader after the president announced Syrian refugees were coming to the U.S. He couldn’t resist flexing his muscles at the feds. He has since backed down after our AG Sam Olens {R] informed him @ two weeks ago that he has no power to set refugee policy because it was a federal power. His backing down surprised me, and I could only conclude that the reason he did was because it was another republican in his administration who told him the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution still stands.

    • commented 2016-01-20 19:06:00 -0500
      These lawmakers don’t care about violating the Constitution or the costs associated with anything, Rodney, even though they claim to be “very” fiscally conservative. Not for one minute do I believe they really care about same-sex marriage the way they claim they do. After all, I’m assuming that they’re not involved in one, and so would have little contact with ssm couples.. What I do believe they care about is using any means necessary to advance their political careers.

    • commented 2016-01-20 18:06:11 -0500
      It’s great that it was killed in committee but the same two members of the General Assembly have introduced HB1828 and SB1790 in an attempt to have a backup plan which says “State Government – As introduced, prohibits state and local governments from enforcing, administering, or cooperating with the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any federal executive order or U.S. supreme court opinion unless the general assembly first expressly implements it as the public policy of the state. – Amends TCA Title 4, Chapter 1.”….just another way to skirt Federal Law in clear violation of the Supremacy Clause…when will these people realize that the only two ways that they can ignore Federal Law is to either Succeed from the Union or to move to another country?

      This issue as well as all of the pastor’s testimony is an embarrassment to our state!

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