Tennessee’s attorney general, Herbert H. Slatery III, spoke out Friday against the Supreme Court’s opinion that affirmed marriage equality rights in two same-sex marriage cases (Tanco v. Haslam and Obergefell v. Hodges).
“Today’s United States Supreme Court decision not only changes the definition of marriage, but takes from the states and their citizens the longstanding authority to vote and decide what marriage means. To the Tennessee citizen who asks ‘Don’t we get a chance to vote on this in some way?’ the answer from the Supreme Court is a resounding, ‘No, you do not.’ For the Court to tell all Tennesseans that they have no voice, no right to vote, on these issues is disappointing. The Court, nevertheless, has spoken and we respect its decision. Our office is prepared to work with the Governor and the General Assembly, as needed, to take the necessary steps to implement the decision.”
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — David Fowler, the president of The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), also decried the court’s ruling on Friday.
“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.”
FACT organized the RealMarriage.org campaign that led to the passage of the amendment by 81 percent of the vote.
FACT was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on marriage, families, life, and religious liberty. For more information, visit FACTn.org.
Their press release stated, “The fundamental rights of the U.S. Consti-tution were at the core of today’s Supreme Court announcement of its long-awaited landmark same-sex marriage ruling. And the Court chose to declare that gay marriage was indeed a fundamental right, thus stripping states and voters of their rights to make their own marriage decisions.”
Pastor Dale Walker, network president, says the ruling puts churches and pastors in a difficult position. “This landmark decision had deep Biblical, historical and constitutional roots, and unfortunately, our justices chose to redefine marriage for the entire nation, ignoring other constitutional rights and opening the door to a dangerous infringement on religious liberties,” he said. “… Even though some churches have sought to blend into the culture rather than change it, this ruling serves as a wake-up call for pastors and churches who are committed to being the salt and light of our society and standing up for truth.”
The Tennessee Pastors Network is a chapter of the American Pastors Network (APN), which offers resources that help clergy choose sermon topics and find information for other church ministries. For more information, see the state network’s site and its Facebook page.