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Tennessee lawmakers introduce bill in attempt to ban gay marriage

Posted: 9:07 AM, Feb 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-18 12:07:00-05

Two Tennessee state legislators introduced a bill that would attempt to outlaw gay marriage in the state.

Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) and Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) introduced the bill in the State Senate and State House of Representatives, respectively, last week.

The bill "states the policy of Tennessee to defend natural marriage between one man and one woman, regardless of any court decision to the contrary."

If it were to be passed and signed into law, the bill would undoubtedly face legal challenges, considering it stands in direct contradiction to a Supreme Court ruling. In 2015, SCOTUS ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that all states must grant same-sex marriages an recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states.

Pody has introduced similar legislation in the past, but the bill has yet to make it out of committee. In 2016, a version of Pody's bill failed in a House subcommittee. At the time, lawmakers estimated that the bill could cost the state $8 billion in federal aid if it were to pass.

In 2018, another version of the bill was delayed when Pody rolled sponsorship of the bill over to another legislator when he left the House of Representatives for the Senate. The bill was never voted on by the House.