Tennessee lawmakers kill bill to define marriage

State lawmakers in Tennessee this week killed a proposal that would​ have defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, no matter what any court — such as the U.S. Supreme Court — ruled.​​

The “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” failed Jan. 20 in the Civil Justice Subcommittee of Civil Justice Committee. The Supreme Court last year voted 5-4 to legalize same-sex marriage.

“The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state,” the bill read. “Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one man and one woman, is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee. If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry and if such marriage is prohibited in this state by the provisions of this section, then the marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state.”

“You’re asking us to step out where no one has stepped before,” The Tennessean quoted state Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, as saying.

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