Mark Pody was one of the bill's sponsors
A state bill that would have attempted to ban same-sex marriage died in the House of Representatives Civil Justice subcommittee on Wednesday after it failed to gain enough votes.
The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act stated that "any court decision purporting to strike down natural marriage, including Obergefell v. Hodges, is unauthoritative, void, and of no effect." Obergefell v. Hodges is the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer that made same-sex marriage legal across the country, including in Tennessee. The bill was filed by Rep. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) and Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet).
The bill would have given protection to any county court clerks who refused to acknowledge same-sex marriage. The act could cost the state $8.5 billion since going against a Supreme Court order could cause the federal government to pull $6.5 billion in TennCare funding and $2 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (i.e. food stamps) funding.
The anti-gay group Family Action Council of Tennessee is expected to announce a lawsuit on Thursday against the state over the application of the Supreme Court ruling in a state that passed a gay marriage ban in 2006.