A controversial bill that would have nullified the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on gay marriage in Tennessee was killed in the committee stage Wednesday (20 January).
The state house’s civil justice subcommittee voted 4-1 against the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act sponsored by Republican Rep Mark Pody, who said God told him to file the bill because gay marriage was ‘wicked.’
Six counties passed resolutions in support of the measure bill and 80% of voters approved a similar amendment to the state constitution in 2006.
According to the Tennessee general assembly’s fiscal review committee, the bill could have cost the state $8.5 billion in federal funding – to state Medicaid and services for low-income families – if it had passed.
But Pody pushed ahead with bill despite the warning.
Human Rights Campaign strongly condemned the ‘outrageous’ legislation.
‘As the first vote this year on the nearly 100 anti-LGBT bills being considered across 24 states, this is certainly encouraging news from Tennessee,’ said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow.
‘We will remain vigilant in case this legislation should resurface in any other form, and continue to work with our local partners to fight other anti-LGBT legislation in the Tennessee Legislature.’