BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — Officials in a Tennessee county are calling upon the state to interpose against the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion regarding same-sex “marriage” and to uphold the biblical definition of marriage.
According to reports, the nearly unanimous resolution had been introduced by local resident Steven Warhurst. He provided sample text and exhortation to Sullivan County Commissioners.
“[T]o force [the Supreme Court’s] definition of—what we believe is a perverted definition of marriage—on the American people is contrary to the constitution, contrary to Scriptures and unjust,” Warhurst said during the public comment period of the Commissioner’s meeting on Dec. 14.
“We are going to ask you to interpose, to stand between us the people of Sullivan County and the Supreme Court,” he declared. “And we’re going to ask you to ask the legislature, the Tennessee General Assembly, to interpose between us and the Supreme Court’s unjust and lawless judgement.”
Patrick Hines, pastor of Bridwell Heights Presbyterian Church in Blountville, also spoke up during the meeting.
“Lord Jesus said in John 7:24, ‘Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement.’ Every law without exception that is enforced by the government is itself a condemnation of certain behaviors,” he said. “While there is a popular slogan today, ‘You cannot legislate morality,’ the fact is there is nothing other than morality that is legislated.”
“It is not bigotry to identify certain behaviors as wrong when one has clearly thought out and good reasons for doing so. It is, however, presumptuous and outrageous to attempt to change the very essence of the definition of marriage and of family, in the name of what are quite simply perverted and immoral sexual desires,” Hines added.
During the meeting, commissioners voted on a resolution similar to that which had been submitted by Warhurst and sponsored by Commissioner Baxter Hood. Only one commissioner out of 24, Eddie Williams, voted against the measure. Pat Shull decided pass on voting and Kit McGlothlin was absent.
“[T]he Board of Commissioners of Sullivan County Tennessee, this 14th day of December 2015, calls the Tennessee General Assembly and governor to keep their oaths to uphold the Tennessee Constitution and the Constitution of the United States (1) by refusing to accept the lawless opinion of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges as binding precedent for all but the specific plaintiffs in that case, and (2) by continuing to uphold the Tennessee State Constitution which says: ‘The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state,'” the resolution reads in part.
Matt Trewhella, pastor of Mercy Seat Christian Church and author of “The Lesser Magistrate Doctrine” applauded the passage of the resolution.
“What these commissioners have done provides a template for people in every state in America to do the same in their county,” he wrote in a blog post. “These resolutions are so important because they prod the higher state authorities—the legislature, attorney general, and governor—to interpose.”
As previously reported, a bill is also pending in the Tennessee legislature that would defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, filed the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” in September.
“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.”