"Gay Marriage" by Pargon / CC BY 2.0

‘Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act’ seeks to strip gay marriage rights

Feb 14, 2019

By Gwen Aviles

Nearly four years after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal throughout the U.S., Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are attempting to turn back the clock with a bill aimed at banning gay marriage in the state.

The “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act,” which was first proposed in 2016, seeks to “defend natural marriage between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.” The bill, which was reintroduced on Friday, would deem the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges “unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.”

Introduced by Sen. Mark Pody and Rep. Jerry Sexton, both Republicans, the bill also prohibits government officials from facilitating same-sex marriages, and states that these officials cannot be arrested for disavowing court orders that recognize such unions.

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