Here's your recap of what happened in the Legislature today with anti-equality measures.
The Good: It wasn't all bad news. Rep. Holt's marriage caption bill was deferred to the final calendar of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee meeting of the session. For now, that is great news. The bill is not ready...either because the content isn't ready or the votes aren't there. In either case, it's good to have a short break on that bill.
The Bad: The Counseling Discrimination bill, though amended, passed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee today. One encouraging part of the amendment was that counselors who opt out of serving certain clients based on the counselor's beliefs must make a referral. However, the current ethics code makes provision for this. In the Senate, the bill moves next to the Calendar Committee and then likely to the Senate floor. It is up for consideration in the House Health Subcommittee on Feb. 16. Join us in RED at 1:30 in Legislative Plaza next Tuesday. RSVP at the link.
The Bizarre: Rep. Lynn and Rep. Durham's anti-marriage equality resolution passed in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee today 3 to 2. It was amended to focus more on the legal challenges brought by the Family Action Council against the Williamson and Bradley County clerks. Why is this bizarre? In showing support for the lawsuits against clerks, the Legislature would basically be saying Tennessee currently has no marriage statute and all marriages (same-sex and different-sex) performed on or after June 26, 2015 are null and void. But if the Legislature really believed that, wouldn't it make more sense to pass a marriage bill since, according to the fantastical world created by this lawsuit, Tennessee doesn't have one? It seems that legislators are missing the boat. The resolution is up for consideration in the full House Civil Justice Committee on Feb. 16 at 9:00 a.m. Please, be there in RED.
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