TENNESSEE: Republicans Kill Bill To Ban Child Marriage Because It Interferes With Fight Against Obergefell

The Tennessean reports:

House Republicans effectively killed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit child marriages in Tennessee, citing an obscure legal theory that passing the bill could deter a conservative lawyer’s case against gay marriage. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory, calls for the state to outlaw marriages where one of the parties is under 18 years of age.

But Republican lawmakers effectively killed the bill’s chances during this legislative session when House Majority Leader Glen Casada, R-Franklin, made a motion to send the proposal to summer study in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

Bills do not often come back to be passed after they are sent to summer study sessions. Casada cited an email he received from attorney and former state Sen. David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee.

According to Fowler, Obergefell nullified all Tennessee marriages. Therefore, any bill to outlaw child marriage is a recognition that marriages in Tennessee are still real. Or something. Hit the link for more. (Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

  • Boreal
    • Robincho

      Looks like Ruth Gordon finally found Poppa…

      • Boreal

        That beauty (in pink) was my Reaganbook avatar, Wanda Rimerholen.

        • Wisterley

          I miss reaganbook! It was like Brigadoon, it appeared from out of the mist, and while it lived how happy we were! But then the day was done, and evening approached, and it melted like ice cubes in a gin and tonic.

          • Boreal

            It was a glorious few days and all the friends we made: Saddam Hussein, Dick Cheney, Chairman Mao, Cut Cocks for Christ, the list goes on and on.

          • Wisterley

            Ben Dova, Dick Likka, Michele Bachman… Why was it taken from us? Why???

    • kaydenpat

      Not gonna ask. Don’t wanna know.

  • It’s comically pathetic that people are still fighting Obergefell.

    • Boreal

      Yet one more dump appointee on SCOTUS could overturn it.

      • kaydenpat


      • So very true. Which does beg the question. If that does happen, what would happen to all the lawfully married same sex couples? Would we no longer be married?
        Would we remain married but if we get divorced we can’t get married again?
        The logistics of it is just not sustainable..

        • clay

          see California post-Prop 8, pre-Obergefell.

          • Steverino

            Except several months after Prop 8 passed, the California Supreme Court ruled that those of us who married in that legal window between mid-June 2008 and Election Day 2008 would remain legally married (at least in the state of California, of course). In other words, we were “grandfathered-in.”

            The U.S. Supreme Court, however, I am not so optimistic about being grandfathered-in should Obergefell (and Windsor, for those of us in states likely to retain marriage equality) be overturned.

        • Todd20036

          No. It would mean the marriages are “erased”. Gone. Or more accurately, they’d be gone if you live in a state that doesn’t recognize such marriages. DC and NY and CA and IL residents would be unchanged, for instance.
          Southern and mountainous states would see their LBGTs being royally screwed.

          • Yep. I’d definitely lose mine. Louisiana? Yea right.
            Yet another reason to cut ties with anyone who voted for a green or for trump.
            Fuck you all.

          • Michael White

            Indiana – ours would be gone too. Fucking santorums

          • Ninja0980

            It would be going back to you’re legal in one state, strangers in another.

        • fuow

          I doubt that much bothers the christians.

          • Ted.OR

            In fact, their “christian” “god” will be happy with those states. “He” will no longer have a reason to smite them, and those states will not experience any tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, fires, blizzards, earthquakes, chemical spills, etc.


        • Bluto

          Leave logic out of it, ya commie bastard.

        • Which is why we didn’t marry until it became legal throughout the country…traveling cross country would have been confusing. Married…not married…married…not married. Medical emergency in a not-married state…a nightmare.

        • You’re thinking like a liberal. You’re imagining probably/likely outcomes and basing your views on reality. Those still on the right don’t care about such things. They just want to vent their anger daily at whoever they think is against them. Yes, reversing legal marriages would create a nightmare. They’d thrive on that chaos and laugh at the gay couples dealing with the legal problems that resulted. That would be a win for them. Fucking us over even if it meant more problems for their state and county officials to deal with the mess. They don’t care about that.

      • Todd20036

        More accurately, one more appointee who replaces Kennedy or a liberal justice. If Uncle Tom drops dead, replacing him with another uncle tom won’t change much

      • Ninja0980

        If that happens, the riots will make Stonewall look like nothing.

      • Steverino

        And Windsor, as well. All it would take to do that would be for a GOP House and a GOP Senate to pass, and a GOP President to sign into law a resurrection of the Defense of Marriage Act. Of course it would be challenged immediately as unconstitutional based upon the previous SCOTUS ruling (Windsor), but a fascist SCOTUS would likely and gleefully reverse that decision in a New York minute. Bye-bye federal recognition, including Social Security and Veterans Administration spousal / survivor rights and privileges, federal income tax rights, etc.

    • ColdCountry

      Their still fighting the Scopes trial decision! Same state, people.

  • Rex

    Apparently calendars in Tennessee aren’t real either, since there’s no way it’s 2018 there.

  • Dave B

    “Obergefell nullified all Tennessee marriages”. It really is a race to the bottom of the barrel for repugs.

    • clay

      When Jernigan pressed Fowler, he says Fowler said he was opposed to all state regulation of marriage. Either Fowler should be happy that Obergefell nullified all Tennessee (regulated) marriages, or Fowler’s still covering up his theocratic desires.

      • netxtown

        I’ll take door #2, Monty….

    • kaydenpat

      They’ve reached the bottom and are now just digging through the muck.

      • Dave F.

        They’re through the bottom and halfway to Jina by now.

    • evanedwards

      If TN is still processing income tax for married couples, that would be a direct admission that TN marriages are not nullified. So, this is entirely ridiculous.

      • ‘Til Tuesday

        We don’t have a state income tax in Tennessee. Fowler is one of those nutters who’s obsessed with all things gay.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          I wonder why he’s so obsessed.

    • Devon Rodriguez

      Hmm, let me see if I have this right….

      We must all hate gays as the Bible teaches, even if that means marrying off our daughters to the men who have raped them.

      The Christian deity may murder us if we do not comply.

      Conservatives are only protecting us from their genocidal deity who kills whole civilizations, including born and unborn babies.

      This is why more and more people are seeing through the sham of religion!

    • Jamie Wilson

      I have watched Fowler’s lengthy presentation on his lawsuit, which you can watch on YT if you have the time. His argument is that 1) Obergefell struck down that part of TN marriage law which limits marriage to 1 man/1 woman, 2) the TN legislature considers the 1 man/1 woman provisions to be an integral part of the marriage law and would not have enacted marriage law without it, and so 3) Obergefell has the effect of striking down all of TN marriage law, not just the 1 man/1 woman provisions. It’s a wacko argument and I am not sure what he would accomplish even if he somehow won, other than sow chaos and hope that this prompted a reversal of Obergefell.

  • Boy. These people really really don’t like the faggots.

    • Todd20036

      Or blacks, or women, or Latinos, or educated people, or non-Christians, or even children apparently

  • olandp

    Good god! Don’t these people realize that marriage is a CONTRACT? And that contracts cannot be entered into until one is of age?

    • clay

      Technically, Tennessee’s law allows the (girl’s) parents to contract them (her) into the marriage (with the rapist three times her age).

      You have no idea how much I wish that was snark, or even exaggeration.
      Truth fucks fiction.

      • olandp

        Did Roy Moore move to Tennessee?

    • Ted.OR

      “Don’t these people realize…”

      No, they don’t, and therein lies the problem. They think of “marriage” and “matrimony” as one and the same. Whenever I try to explain that marriage is ONLY the governmental contract, and that matrimony is ONLY the spiritual recognition of a couple… well, it’s “deer in the headlight look” time.

      If you want to see complete confusion, ask them “If a man and woman go to a church, and have the pastor perform the ceremony, but they don’t get a marriage license… are they legally allowed to file a joint income tax return?”

  • DaddyRay
    • whollyfool

      Seems like a while back one of the big adopt-a- child programs made some small progressive change and the “benefactors” dropped their adoptees en masse. Sickening.

    • Bluto

      Once they’re out of the womb, fuck ’em. Literally.

  • kaydenpat


  • TimCA

    How admirable. Never let protecting children get in the way of trying to harm gay people.


  • Mark Née Fuzz

    That’s some pretty absurd logic there, if you can call it logic.

    • Todd20036

      Religion is full of such “logic”

      • fuow

        It’s days like this which really, really strain my agnostic approach to the concept of a ‘god’. Based upon the behavior of these people, I’m having a very hard time resisting the emotional urge to believe there just might be demons, incarnate.

      • Mark Née Fuzz

        You misspelled “shit”

    • whollyfool

      It’s a pretty big desertion of children’s welfare for such tenuous logic and such an evil goal.

      They only heard the first part of “Suffer, the little children. .”

  • netxtown



    To equip Tennesseans and their public officials to effectively
    promote and defend a culture that values God’s design for marriage, the
    family, life, and religious liberty for the common good.

    How can there be ANY fact when their basis is mythology?

    • Todd20036

      There isn’t. Just like Family Values isn’t about family values. Just like 1 Million Moms doesn’t really include 1 million moms, just as Make America Great Again really means, make white, straight privilege the law of the land again

      • Tread

        …just as Make America Great Again really means, make white, straight male privilege the law of the land again…


    • Ted.OR

      The point that they always conveniently ignore is that they only recognize the Judeo-Christian god’s “values”. More specifically, it is only their personal interpretation of the “values”.

      As many on this forum have pointed out, the god of the Bible is very clear regarding who is prohibited from having a godly marriage: divorced, different races, different religions, sex before marriage, adultery while married, etc.

      The Muslim god, who by the way is the same as their god, says it’s OK for a man to have four wives.

      And by the way, in a godly marriage, the wife must be completely obedient to the husband. And for the husband — no masturbation!!!

    • Librarykid

      ‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’ Lewis Carroll

  • Blake J Butler

    Ya think ? Making Dubya look like a Rhodes scholar in comparison.


    • KnownDonorDad


    • boatboy_srq

      Why stop there? He’s making Buchanan look good, and that takes work.

    • Steverino

      Don’t they mean worst president since the Revolutionary War?

  • Harveyrabbit
  • AtticusP

    How “Christian” of them.

    And they wonder why millennials are abandoning the GOP in droves?

    Not too bright these Republicans, are they?https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/beafe7b8c7ec137aa5966f03ba4f73a04e44b68ac4bd882f4554c40f36367d12.jpg

  • Pip

    I’m sure this has nothing to do with the number of evangelicals in TN. None what so ever.

  • BeaverTales

    It’s Christian taqqiya. Why can’t they just be honest about their theology and just say that rape and child fucking are fine, but not homosex or abortion?

    • Michael White

      and that is truly the bottom line in all of this.

      • fuow

        No shit. The thought that these people are within spitting distance of a constitutional convention frightens me.

    • fuow

      Well, to be fair, Trump has been pretty much saying that from the beginning.

      • boatboy_srq

        And his own children at that.

    • CraigNJ

      It’s in their bible

  • fuow

    Does anyone still believe our marriages are safe?

    • KnownDonorDad

      I would say always be vigilant – I’m waiting to see how SCOTUS feels about cake martyrs first.

    • As long as the opposition is idiots like these, I’m not all that worried.

  • Tulle Christensen

    Courts, except in extraordinary circumstances, do not undo existing contracts because of a change in a laws. See CA prop 8 case….

    • fuow

      When it comes to gays, they do with great joy and delight.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    To spite one group, they’ll sacrifice a group they claim they love & protect. All GOPers need to be called out on this shit. To hurt LGBT, they don’t care if girl children are preyed on (I say girl children because all the victims I’ve ever read about were girls married off to creepy men so far.). And a lot of GOP men want moldable clay who they can raise to be just the way they want them.

    I remember a while back some of the educated, wealthier (at least upper middle class) GOP women who were anti-Trump were hella shocked to find that some of the not-so educated, not-so wealthy GOP women were like all “my husband tells me who to vote for.” I truly believe that this creepy early marriage culture comes into play.

  • JustDucky
  • KnownDonorDad

    “According to Fowler, Obergefell nullified all Tennessee marriages.”


  • TexasBoy

    Mr. Fowler, just because you call your hateful organization FACT, it does not make it so.

  • Ninja0980

    Once again, the same sex marriage has to be banned for children’s sake argument has been shown to be a farce.
    These assholes hate us more then they care about outlawing child rape.

  • Cackalaquiano

    So much more important to smack down the gays than to protect children. Again.

    • Jack

      The great evangelist, Pastor Greg Locke, in a recent interview on CNN, actually said (in talking about evangelical support of Donald Trump) that the ends justify the means.

      I remember in high school, I was taught that that was a Communist maxim (and also applied to testing and using proportions).

  • Clive Johnson

    They’re little savages, these conservatives.

  • Bluto

    2 consenting adults that are not penis-vagina, no way! Kiddie diddling, okay!
    family values.

  • Jack

    They’d destroy the world rather than live in one with married same-sex couples.

  • Devon Rodriguez

    They just want to have sex with children and keep people who love each other from getting married.

    Apparently some people like myself have a problem with their attitude and laws

  • Gerry Fisher

    Hatred and prejudice can make things COM-plicated!

  • Bob Conti

    So the binder behind this nutter has SJR 127. That’s a bill to amend the TN Constitution so it states there’s no state constitutional right to an abortion and that there shall be no state funding thereof.

  • “According to Fowler, Obergefell nullified all Tennessee marriages. Therefore, any bill to outlaw child marriage is a recognition that marriages in Tennessee are still real.”


  • ‘Til Tuesday

    Let me tell you, that David Fowler is one of those people who’s obsessed with gay people. He’s constantly going to the state legislature trying to get them to pass bills of one sort or another that are anti-gay. He’s our state’s most notorious anti-gay bigot. He’s got more than a few screws loose in his head.

  • Taylor

    So…if Obergefell nullified all Tennessee marriages, does that mean no one has sued for divorce in Tennessee since that ruling?

    What became of all the divorce lawyers?

  • Statistics Palin

    We will have peace when they love their children more than they hate us.
    -Golda Meir

  • Longpole
  • Friday

    So, the Christians get to use trying to deny adult citizens civil equality as an excuse to keep ‘marrying’ children off as property to be diddled. Nice. You’d think this would discredit *both* ventures, at least in a civilized state.

  • A. J. Aguilera

    So much for conservative “family” values. They’re such effing hypocrites.

  • Hank
  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    So let me get this right; Tennessee Repugnants are whining about kiddie fucking being legal but consenting adult fucking should be illegal? And this means kiddie fucking is ok?


  • teedofftaxpayer

    Again I apologize for the stupidity of my home state. It seems that those who still live there get stupider every years.

    • Hank

      It is not just your state. It seems to run rampant, throughout the Entire South!!! I have to deal with the gun laws of Florida!!! “Stand Your Ground”!

      • teedofftaxpayer

        I moved from Tennessee over 60 years ago. Couldn’t stand the bigotry and racism. Grew up going to segregated schools and “white only” signs. Much have changed, just more subtle.

  • Halou

    Tennessee GOP just went full Catholic?
    Child sexual abuse is apparently tolerable if it means also hurting gay people?

  • JWC

    One Giant step backwards 100 years These states in the SE are utterly amnazing

  • SFHarry

    Are they really so blinded by hate that they are unwilling to protect children because it might give LGBT people some dignity.

    • coram nobis

      Well, yes …

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    these assholes would hold to an engine block if they wanted to believe it floated in water and this would make marriage equality go away.

  • Tempus Fuggit

    Eeyin jeeziz’ nayme aymeeyin. aHyuck!

    (…but what do I know? I’m just a—erm, how you say? A “fist-pounding homosexual”.)

  • JCF