Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Tennessee House Votes to Advance Empty Resolution Opposing Marriage Equality Ruling

by Ryan Wilson March 03, 2016


Today, the Tennessee House voted 73 to 18 to advance House Joint Resolution (HJR) 0529, an empty resolution stating support for a Williamson County lawsuit opposing the US Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality last June. The Senate must now concur with the resolution for it to achieve full passage.

This vote on HJR 0529 is entirely symbolic and allows lawmakers to express their animosity for the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling after lawmakers voted down the Natural Marriage Defense Act last month, an extreme measure which disgracefully sought to eliminate marriage equality in the state and require the state to defend in court marriage as “between one man and one woman.”

“Though only symbolic, this shameful vote to encourage defiance of the highest court in the land is a slap in the face to loving and committed same-sex couples all over the Volunteer State,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Lawmakers should be using their time and resources to help all families, but instead have prioritized a mean-spirited resolution that serves absolutely no legitimate purpose.”

Chris Sanders, Executive Director of the Tennessee Equality Project condemned House passage of HJR529 today on the House floor, stating, “Though it has no legal force, the resolution insults the LGBT community with yet another vote on something that should not be voted on, namely, basic rights. The resolution furthermore celebrates lawsuits against local governments in our state, which will take up the time of county clerks and the resources of taxpayers. Yet, the Legislature refused an amendment by Rep. Sherry Jones, which would have required the state to pay for legal costs associated with the lawsuits. Legislative attacks on Tennessee's LGBT community have become desperate and bizarre.”

Thom Kostura & Ijpe DeKoe are one of the three Tennessee plaintiff couples in the Tanco v. Haslam case, which was decided as a part of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Obergefell v. Hodges ruling. Speaking earlier this month about HJR 0529, they stated,

“When Ijpe and I were stationed in Tennessee, we weren’t sure what kind of a welcome we would receive. We were quick to learn that Tennesseans have a long tradition of recognizing that a marriage, valid where celebrated, is valid everywhere. As marriage plaintiffs, Ijpe and I knew we were supported by countless of Tennesseans who respected our marriage and understood that we were not much different than any other loving couple deserving of protection under the law. We feel this resolution is in direct contradiction to the warm welcome we received while living in Tennessee, and are saddened that a small minority are so willing to undo the loving support of so many Tennesseans.”

HRC is currently tracking 25 active bills in Tennessee that could be used to restrict or eliminate the rights of LGBT people in The Volunteer State, including HB 2414, which is scheduled for a hearing on March 8 and seeks to prevent transgender students from accessing restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. The anti-equality legislation advancing in Tennessee is part of an onslaught of anti-LGBT bills being pushed in 2016 by anti-equality activists around the country.

To date, HRC is tracking nearly 200 anti-LGBT bills in 32 states. These range from legislation attempting to undermine marriage equality; proposals aimed to authorize individuals, businesses, and taxpayer-funded agencies to cite religion as a legal reason to refuse goods or services to LGBT people; bills seeking to restrict or criminalize transgender people who use restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity; and even legislation aimed at eliminating the ability of local governments to protect LGBT residents and visitors. For more information, visit: www.hrc.org/2016legislature.





Ryan Wilson
Ryan Wilson

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Think

Donald Trump Kicks Off The Debate By Thanking His Dad and The Housing Crisis

by JohnGallagher September 26, 2016

Donald Trump is off to a great start: he acknowledged that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and that he hoped to profit off the housing crisis.  And God bless Clinton for saying that Trump lives in his own reality. If by reality, you mean make-believe universe, that’s totally accurate.  

Continue Reading →

WATCH: Trailer For James Franco’s “King Cobra” Finally Here, And This Is One Wild Ride

by Dan Tracer September 26, 2016

Since the project was announced nearly a year ago, there’s been a lot of talk about King Cobra, the murderous tale of lust, greed and crime set against a wholesome gay adult film backdrop. And though we’ve seen images and a clip and even heard from the real life Brent Corrigan about how he’s portrayed, we’ve oddly [...]

Continue Reading →

WATCH: Virginia Governor Wants Your Gay Dollars In His Pro-Gay State

by Jeff Taylor September 26, 2016

Gov. Terry McAuliffe would like you to come spend your gay dollars in Virginia, casting it as LGBTQ-friendly, something not all Southeastern states can say with a straight face. While their neighbor to the south, North Carolina, hemorrhages money since the passing of the anti-LGBTQ law HB2, Virginia stands ready to scoop up the revenue fleeing the [...]

Continue Reading →