Three years ago, Tennessee introduced a bill that would “defend natural marriage between one man and one woman,” with the goal of barring same-sex marriages.
The bill failed in the Tennessee House of Representatives during its last session, but state Republicans reintroduced the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act in a new effort to prevent government officials from recognizing same-sex marriages.
The Bustle says: The Natural Marriage Defense Act states that the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 2015 to legalize marriage equality is “unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.” The bill also states that marriage clerks are expected to deny any marriage license applications that would “enable the applicants to enter into an unlawful and invalid marriage” — “unlawful” in this case referring to any marriage that is not between a man and woman.
The bill is intended to prohibit government officials — in particular clerks issuing marriage certificates — from recognizing any court rulings that affirms same-sex unions, and specifies they cannot be arrested for failing to comply with court orders that do so.
It would also require the Tennessee attorney general to defend the state’s law on marriage in any subsequent court challenge.
“The far right’s dream scenario is this would go back before the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court would accept it,” said Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBTQ rights advocacy group that has previously opposed the bill according to The Tennessean.