The debate over same sex marriage is back in the Volunteer State.
State Representative Mark Pody and Senator Mae Beavers have filed the Natural Marriage Defense Act, which defines marriage as between one woman and one man despite what outside courts decide.
At a town hall last night Pody refused to answer any questions regarding the bill and was approached by Middle Tennessee resident Andrea Hewitt following the meeting.
“I feel demoralized,” Hewitt said. “I’m a gay Tennessean who pays money to taxes, I vote and I’m a very responsible citizen. So why are you filing bills to harm me and my family?”
Pody told Hewitt that he had no intentions of harming anyone and said he and Senator Beavers would address the bill during a news conference schedule for sometime next week.
The bill specifically states that the state of Tennessee will only recognize marriage between one man and one woman, and requires state agencies to ignore the Obergefell v. Hodges decision that outlawed discrimination against same-sex couples in marriage law. The bill allows the state legislature to hire counsel to defend the law in the case that the state attorney general decides not to litigate the case and attempt to have the Supreme Court overturn Obergefell.
The bill claims that the Supreme Court is not the final voice on state matters, and points to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the US Constitution for support.