UPDATE:: House panel rejects bill blocking gay marriage in Tennessee
A bill seeking to block the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling in Tennessee has been defeated in a subcommittee of the state House over concerns about nullifying federal rulings.
The five-member panel defeated the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Pody on a voice vote on Wednesday.
UPDATE:: Sponsor of anti-gay marriage bill is undaunted by $8.5B cost__
The Tennessee lawmaker whose bill would bar the state from following the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling says he is undeterred by a projected loss of $8.5 billion in federal funds if the proposal becomes law.
State Rep. Mark Pody said at a state Capitol rally on Tuesday that the proposal he has dubbed the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” is worth any cost — and the Republican from the Nashville suburb of Lebanon disputed the estimated loss of federal funds.
Legislative analysts estimated that if the state refuses services to same-sex couples, Tennessee stands to lose $6.5 billion in federal Medicaid money and another $2 billion in food stamp and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds.
Tennessee lawmakers promised some sort of legislative response after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal for every state in the country.
On Thursday two state Republican lawmakers unveiled their answer: a bill that they believe voids the Supreme Court decision and continues to define marriage under Tennessee law as a union between a man and a woman.
"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," the bill states.
"Any court decision purporting to strike down natural marriage, including (a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision), is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect."
Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, filed the "Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act" on Thursday, the same day roughly 400 people attended a "Religious Liberty Rally" at the State Capitol in Nashville.
It's unclear what effect the new bill would have if enacted on those licenses in Tennessee. The eight-page bill consists mainly of reasons why Pody and Beavers believe Tennessee can and should ignore the Supreme Court.
"Whereas, not all orders claiming authority under color of law are in fact lawful," the bill reads in part.
"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."
Lawmakers file 'Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act'