Is Tennessee Willing To Blow $9 Billion Trying To Ban Gay Marriage?

Never to be deterred by failure, ultra-conservative Republicans in Tennessee are returning to the plate for another long-shot effort to ban gay marriage.

The proposed Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act declares that same-sex marriage is once again illegal because the decisive 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges allegedly doesn’t apply to Tennessee.

The bill’s sponsors, State Senator Mark Pody and State Representative Jerry Sexton, claim that the Obergefell doesn’t count in Tennessee because the state had passed its own marriage law prior to the decision.

“It’s just too early for me to get into the details and say what the exact intent of it is, we’ve got to get it exactly right so that we can explain it. I’m not ready to explain it in depth,” Rep. Sexton said in “explaining” his legislation.

The truth is, their barely-concealed strategy is blatantly obvious. Justice Kennedy was the decisive swing vote for legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015, and he’s now gone, replaced with the far more conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Social conservatives are hoping that by passing legislation in defiance of the Obergefell ruling, they can get another chance up at bat before the Supreme Court and, hopefully, get the same-sex marriage ruling overturned, or at least severely rolled back.

“What we have to do is we have to pass laws that go back to the courts and let them be challenged [...] we’re bringing it up for the discussion,” Rep. Sexton says, letting his obvious agenda fall into clear view.

We can’t let some of the most conservative lawmakers in one of the most conservative states try to overturn decades of progress for LGBQT+ Americans. Will you sign this petition to ensure marriage equality stays the law of the land?

This last-ditch effort to codify discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans isn’t just going to hurt the LGBTQ+ community, however. By openly defying a federal ruling from the Supreme Court, Tennessee could potentially face billions of dollars in penalties from the government. Federal supremacy is one of the longest-lasting legal precedents in our nation’s history (we had a civil war about it), and even an ultra-conservative Supreme Court is likely to look down on a state’s outright defiance of the law.

The Tennessean estimated that $7 billion in federal funds to TennCare, Tennesse’s healthcare system, could be in jeopardy. $2 billion in funds from the Department of Human Services would also be on the chopping block.

The question, of course, is whether Tennessee Republican lawmakers are willing to risk an abundance of pain and suffering for their most vulnerable citizens in order to advance their agenda of hate?

Unfortunately, recent history says the answer may be yes.


Tell far-right Tennessee Republicans that marriage equality is settled law, and to shelve this bigoted bill by signing our petition to trash the discriminatory Natural Marriage Defense Act!


Sophie A
Sophie Ayesterday

Thank you for posting

Richard E Cooley

Sad! Stupid!

silja s
silja s6 days ago

why are people so unkind. for what reason do people wish to inflict hurt on their citizens. I am always stunned at the lack of compasssion.

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan H8 days ago


Gino C
Gino C9 days ago

Thank you

Emma L
Emma L11 days ago


Jan S
Jan S13 days ago

thank you for sharing

Caitlin L
Caitlin L14 days ago

thank you

Kevin B
Kevin B15 days ago

Thank you for posting

Maria P
Maria P18 days ago

Thank you for sharing