NASHVILLE — Two lawmakers in Tennessee have introduced a bill that would defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding same-sex “marriage” and protect the rule of law in the state.
Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, filed the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” on Thursday in the state legislature to defend the constitutional amendment passed by 81 percent of voters in 2006.
“Whereas, not all orders claiming authority under color of law are in fact lawful,” the bill reads.”Whereas, unlawful orders, no matter their source—whether from a military commander, a federal judge, or the United States Supreme Court—are and remain unlawful, and should be resisted.”
“Natural marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman as recognized by the people of Tennessee remains the law in Tennessee, regardless of any court decision to the contrary,” it says. “Any court decision purporting to strike down natural marriage, including [Obergefell v. Hodges], is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.”
Both Pody and Beavers believe that the Supreme Court ruling is the result of judicial activism and therefore must be resisted.
“The Obergefell case is clearly and blatantly an overstep of the Supreme Court’s authority and it is time that states, like Tennessee, stand up against the judicial tyranny of which Thomas Jefferson so eloquently warned,” Beavers said in a statement, referring to the Jefferson quote, “Whenever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
“This decision defies constitutional authority and is one of the most glaring examples of judicial activism in U.S. Supreme Court history,” Pody remarked. “It not only tramples on state’s rights, but has paved the way for an all-out assault on the religious freedoms of Christians who disagree with it.”
He said that the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act “calls for Tennessee to stand against such unconstitutional action in hopes that other states will stand with us against an out-of-control court legislating from the bench.”
The two went on to speak at a religious liberty rally on Friday, where they again declared before the 400 residents in attendance that the state must protect God’s definition of marriage.
“Marriage is between a man and a woman in Tennessee,” Pody proclaimed, being met with cheers.
“We’re going to tell the attorney general, he will defend marriage in Tennessee as it is written on our Constitution,” Beavers stated.
As previously reported, Tennessee was one of the states whose constitutional amendment on marriage had been upheld by the federal court—until it reached the Supreme Court.
“No one here claims that the states’ original definition of marriage was unconstitutional when enacted. The plaintiffs’ claim is that the states have acted irrationally in standing by the traditional definition in the face of changing social mores,” wrote Judge Jeffrey Sutton for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last November. “[But] how can we say that the voters acted irrationally for sticking with the seen benefits of thousands of years of adherence to the traditional definition of marriage in the face of one year of experience with a new definition of marriage?”
“If it is constitutionally irrational to stand by the man-woman definition of marriage, it must be constitutionally irrational to stand by the monogamous definition of marriage,” he asserted. “[But] the predicament does not end there. No state is free of marriage policies that go too far in some directions and not far enough in others, making all of them vulnerable…”
Sutton was joined by Judge Deborah Cook in his opinion.
“If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances …. prove to be nothing but shams,” she wrote.