New bills reignite same-sex marriage debate in Tennessee

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The same-sex marriage debate is back in the state legislature after two new bills were filed.

It’s called the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act, with bills filed by Sen. Mae Beavers in the Senate and Rep. Mark Pody in the House.

The bills define marriage as between one man, and one woman in Tennessee, despite what outside courts decide.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Both Sen. Beavers and Rep. Pody declined comment on the bill, telling News 2 that questions would be answered at a press conference next week.

“It’s frustrating because we’ve already settled this,” noted Daryn Jackson, a business owner in Mt. Juliet.

Jackson learned of the bills soon after they were filed.

They argue that despite the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling, same sex marriage is unlawful and all unlawful orders “remain unlawful and should be resisted.”

“I have friends that are rightfully concerned for their marriages,” noted Jackson.

Jackson, her girlfriend Jessie, and several others filled Mt. Juliet City Hall Thursday for a town hall discussing Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax.

The town hall was led by Sen. Beavers and Rep. Pody, who faced a barrage of questions regarding the recent legislation.

“I see some signs back there and they’re concerning other bills I’m a sponsor of,” noted Pody to the crowd. “The issue that we’ll be addressing tonight will be the gas tax issue.”

“We have taken time out of our evenings and away from our families to come here,” said Jackson from the crowd to the lawmakers. “To voice some very real concerns we have about our families.”

The time and date for the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act has not been set.