Today, Thursday March 16, the Tennessee House of Representatives advanced legislation that attempts to eliminate rights for same sex couples and parents. House Bill 1111 — and its corresponding bill, Senate Bill 1085 — would require the state to give all undefined words, such as mother, father, husband and wife, their “natural and ordinary meaning.” By doing so, legislators are attempting to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry, divorce, adopt children, and more.
Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, said today: “Through this unconstitutional piece of legislation, Tennessee lawmakers are attempting to not only impose state- sponsored discrimination, but they are also trying to eliminate constitutionally guaranteed rights to same-sex couples and parents.”
Earlier this week he said: “This is a brazen, blatantly unconstitutional attempt to undercut same-sex marriage and the rights of same-sex parents in Tennessee. If signed into law, this erasure bill will not only cost the state millions of dollars in legal fees, but it will harm the state’s economy and damage its reputation as a friendly place to live, work and visit.”
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marriage equality and all the rights associated with it. HB 1111/SB1085 ignores this ruling by discriminating against same sex couples in court related issues, including marriage, custody and divorce cases where definitions are ambiguous.
States including North Carolina and Indiana have lost millions of dollars in economic investments, including new business, conventions, tourism, sporting events and more due to their laws discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
Businesses, faith leaders, legal experts and citizens from across the Volunteer State have already come out in force against the measure.