|Rep. Diane Black|
With the drop of a gavel, five Supreme Court justices have silenced the voices of thousands of Tennesseans. I have always believed that marriage is a sacred promise between man, woman, and God. I respect that others may disagree and I believe that we should encourage a thoughtful, open dialogue about this issue in the individual states – not attempt to cut off debate by imposing a sweeping, fixed interpretation of marriage nationwide. Sadly, that is exactly what the court has done.
Tennesseans are a compassionate people, and we should be able to make laws that match our values on issues of marriage and family, while respecting the dignity of those with whom we may disagree. As we look ahead to implementation of this ruling, we must now ensure that religious freedom is not further eroded and that the conscience rights of our clergy and faith-based wedding officiants are protected.
Today's Supreme Court decision is a disappointment. I have always supported traditional marriage. Despite this decision, no one can overrule the truth about what marriage actually is -- a sacred institution between a man and a woman. I have always believed marriage is between one man and one woman and I will continue to work to ensure our religious beliefs are protected and people of faith are not punished for their beliefs.”
Gov. Bill Haslam:
The people of Tennessee have recently voted clearly on this issue. The Supreme Court has overturned that vote. We will comply with the decision and will ensure that our departments are able to do so as quickly as possible.
David Fowler, former State senator and President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT):
Today a handful of Americans on the Court have stripped the people of the freedom to democratically address the meaning and role of society’s most fundamental institution, marriage. The majority have arrogantly said they are not only smarter than the 50 million Americans who have voted to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but also millions of human beings over thousands of years across the entire globe.
As with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the Court has taken sides on a domestic policy not addressed in our Constitution and told believers in natural marriage that their voice is not allowed. But when people begin to experience the effects of this ruling in ways they never envisioned, the Court may find that it has only awakened a slumbering giant.
Today is a historic day in our country and I am very pleased the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in every state, including Tennessee. Nashville is a vibrant city of inclusion that supports equality and dignity for ALL its residents. Now the law reflects that sentiment and I am proud of our country.
Jeremy Kane, Nashville Mayoral Candidate:
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that all loving couples deserve marriage equality. I look
forward to celebrating our progress with everyone at the Nashville Pride festival this weekend. Love conquers all.
Jeremy Kane's tweet: Children like my three-year-old daughter Wells won’t remember a time without marriage equality and that’s beautiful. #SCOTUSmarriage.
Ryan Haynes, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman:
Tennesseans overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman. If a change was to be made, it should have been allowed to play out through the democratic process but, unfortunately, today’s judicial activism short-circuits that ability. While this has long been pushed by the Democrats' agenda, the issue is far from settled.
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey:
The Supreme Court today issued an unfortunate and fundamentally wrong opinion. In 2006, not even a decade ago, over 80% of Tennessee voters issued a strong mandate in favor of traditional marriage. Today, the Supreme Court declared that mandate null and void.
While the Supreme Court did not stand up for traditional marriage, this decision does not end the institution. The federal government may have the ability to force Tennessee to recognize same-sex unions but it cannot and will not change the hearts and minds of conservatives and traditionalists in Tennessee and elsewhere.
In the communities and churches across this state, the true definition of marriage, a union of one man and one woman, still lives and breathes. It is an eternal truth that no law or government can truly alter.
Congressman Jim Cooper:
Love and equality win. I’m glad the Supreme Court ruled on the right side of history.
Mayor Karl Dean:
I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in Tennessee. I joined Mayors for the Freedom to Marry last year because I believe all people should be treated fairly and equally and that everyone’s individual dignity should be respected. Welcoming and supporting people of all backgrounds and beliefs make our city stronger.
When asked if he would be preforming a same-sex marriage at the Courthouse. Dean said, "As sort of a matter of policy, I have not presided over any marriages since I’ve been mayor. I think I’ve been busy enough without getting involved in that."
Words cannot express the joy I have for so many of my gay and lesbian friends and family who now have the freedom to marry whomever they love. I am confident that Obergefell v. Hodges will stand the test of time as a Supreme Court decision which fundamentally strengthened the United States of America – bringing us ever closer to the dream of all men and women being created equal under the eyes of the law. I want to thank Abby Rubenfeld and Bill Harbison for fighting on behalf of marriage equality and helping to make marriage equality a reality in Tennessee.”
The Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has effectively overturned laws across the country designed to block same-sex couples from enjoying the freedom to marry. Barry is committed to seeing Davidson County implement the court’s decision as quickly as possible, and has already agreed to officiate the ceremony of same-sex couples wishing to exercise their rights.
We have worked hard to make Nashville a warm and welcoming place to all who enter – no matter where you were born, no matter how you got here, and certainly no matter whom you love,” said Barry. “Now that marriage equality is the law of the land, I hope that the State of Tennessee will fully join the City of Nashville in embracing equality by removing any last vestiges of discrimination that still exist in our laws.
Overjoyed @ today's ruling. Couldn’t be happier to see that marriage equality is a reality. Look forward to friends' and families' weddings!
My Statement (Rod Williams):
From the dawn of time until now, marriage has been a union of male and female. The family is the essential building block of society. This ruling will further undermine an institution that has already been severely weakened. This ruling will have far reaching implications beyond the damage it does to the institution of marriage and family. This ruling will lead to challenges to the tax exempt status of churches and colleges and will change what is taught in public schools. It is a blow to religious liberty. As Merle Haggard sang in a song, "We are rolling down hill, like snowball heading for hell."
My additional thoughts (Rod Williams): Instead of meekly complying, maybe the State of Tennessee should simply suspend the function of registering marriages. Or, maybe we should register any two or more people and let them pay a marriage registration fee and submit a signed affidavit they they are married, but we simply do not verify any facts. If Micky Mouse and Donald Duck get married, and pay the license fee then their marriage is registered in the state of Tennessee. If three people want to register a marriage; register it. If a man wants to marry is mother; register it. If a women wants to marry her dog; register it.
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