NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two lawmakers in Tennessee have again filed a bill that declares the State’s intent to only recognize “natural marriage” and consider “void” and “of no effect” the 2015 Obergefell Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex “marriage” nationwide.
According to The Tennessean, the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” has been re-filed for the 2019 legislative session. Put forward by Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, the bill asserts state sovereignty on the issue of marriage and proclaims that the Supreme Court “is not the sole and final arbiter of the powers of the states.”
“[T]he United States Supreme Court is not infallible, and has issued lawless decisions which are repulsive to the Constitution and natural law,” it declares, noting the cases of Scott v. Sandford, Buck v. Bell, Korematsu v. United States and Roe v. Wade, as well as Obergefell v. Hodges.
The bill also points to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which a number of states refused to follow, along with the Scott decision, “as they were a violation of the rule of law and of natural law.”
It cites the Virginia Resolution of December 24, 1798, which said that the states “have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them.”
The legislation additionally quotes from Sir William Blackstone, whose Commentaries on the Common Law were used by attorneys and the courts throughout early America. Blackstone taught that a man’s rights come from God, and that all law must be based on God’s law.
“[The] law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in any obligation to any other,” Blackstone stated. “It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this.”
The Blackstone Institute outlines that “[i]t was only in the mid-Twentieth Century that American law, being re-written by the U. S. Supreme Court, repudiated Blackstone.”
The bill therefore declares that “[n]atural 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. Any court decision purporting to strike down natural marriage, including Obergefell v. Hodges is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect.”
The Tennessee Marriage Protection Amendment, put before voters in 2006 to add an amendment to the state Constitution affirming that “the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state,” passed with 81 percent of the vote. Pody and Sexton believe that the will of the people should be upheld.
This will be the fourth year that Pody and Sexton have filed their Natural Marriage Defense Act, as attempts for passage in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were unsuccessful. Sexton told The Tennessean that while he is unsure if the bill has a greater chance this time, there are some new faces in the legislature that might be sympathetic to the effort.
“I think we’re probably a more conservative legislature now than we have been, but that remains to be seen,” he said.
2 Chronicles 9:16 reads, “And [he] said to the judges, ‘Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment.’”