Two Tennessee Republican lawmakers are
backing a bill that appears to ban same-sex marriage in the state.
State Senator Mae Beavers and Rep. Mark
Pody have introduced the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act.
A full summary of the bill has yet to
be posted on the General Assembly's website, but a description reads,
“[E]nacts the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act, which states
the policy of Tennessee to defend natural marriage between one man
and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary.”
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 found
that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.
The landmark decision voided state laws and constitutional amendments
which defined marriage as a heterosexual union. Many of these bans
remain in place, though unenforceable.
According to WAVY.com, the lawmakers
faced a barrage of questions about the proposal at a town hall to
discuss unrelated legislation; none of which they answered.
“I see some signs back there and
they're concerning other bills I'm a sponsor of,” Pody
told the crowd. “The issue that we'll be addressing tonight
will be the gas tax issue.”
The lawmakers said that they would
answer questions about the marriage bill during an upcoming news