Update: After public outcry, this bill was deferred until the 2018 legislative session.
For the second time since the United States Supreme Court’s decision making marriage equality the law of the land, state legislators will take up a mean-spirited bill that attempts to jeopardize the right of LGBT Tennesseans to marry.
SB 752/HB 892, sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers and Rep. Mark Pody, asserts that marriage can only be between one man and one woman, “regardless of any court decision to the contrary.” Its intent is to nullify existing Tennessee marriages between same-sex couples and to stop marriage for same-sex couples going forward.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made clear that the freedom to marry is a fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution. States cannot nullify federal laws. This measure is patently unconstitutional.
This unenforceable measure would put our state at risk of losing well over $9 billion in federal program funds were it to pass and be deemed noncompliant with federal law, all for the sake of political posturing.
LGBT Tennesseans are simply asking for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. As the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Obergefell, “The Constitution grants them that right.”
Tennessee is better than the hateful message this legislation sends to those same-sex couples who only want to enjoy equal access to the unique security and personal dignity of marriage enjoyed by everyone else.
Take action: Tell members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Civil Justice Committee that threatening to jeopardize Tennessee couples’ marriages is unconstitutional and violates our Tennessee values of equality and fairness.
Senate Judiciary Committee
Senator Mike Bell, (615) 741-1946, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Janice Bowling, (615) 741-6694, email@example.com
Senator Lee Harris, (615) 741-1767, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Brian Kelsey, (615) 741-3036, email@example.com
Senator Sara Kyle, (615) 741-4167, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jon Lundberg, (615) 741-5761, email@example.com
Senator Doug Overbey, (615) 741-0981, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Kerry Roberts, (615) 741-4499, email@example.com
Senator John Stevens, (615) 741-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
House Civil Justice Committee
Representative Carson (Bill) Beck, (615) 741-3229, email@example.com
Representative Mike Carter, (615) 741-3025, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Glen Casada, (615) 741-4389, email@example.com
Representative Martin Daniel , (615) 741-2287, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Andrew Farmer, (615) 741-4419, email@example.com
Representative John Forgety, (615) 741-1725, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative G. Hardaway, (615) 741-5625, email@example.com
Representative Debra Moody, (615) 741-3774, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Courtney Rogers, (615) 741-3893, email@example.com
Representative Mike Stewart, (615) 741-2184, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Bryan Terry, (615) 741-2180 email@example.com