Here in batshit crazy town, I want people to know Nashville is the capital and supposedly the city of now. What.ever. When I read this I busted out laughing. I have 3.5 years left on my sell by date and let's see if I can make.
I elected to make comments immediately proceeding the sections that particularly drew my ire, whoops I mean attention.
Lawmakers, LGBT advocates far apart on marriage, parenting bills
If you’re a man living in Tennessee, state law says you can claim paternity by performing what reads like a line from a famous Disney movie about a lion cub.
A man is presumed the father of a child if “while the child is under the age of majority, the man receives the child into the man's home and openly holds the child out as the man's natural child,” a state statute reads.
**this sounds a hell of lot more fun than a Baptism or Circumcision. Put me on the guest list of this ceremony. Hakuna Matata!
Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, cited that statute in defending legislation she introduced that would repeal a law that grants legitimacy to children conceived through artificial insemination in married heterosexual couples.
Weaver said repealing the law means "the state will no longer intrude into how a woman conceives her child," while other state rules about marriage and children would remain in effect.
**odd as the right wing have never had a problem intruding their religious personal beliefs into women's vaginas in the past. They seem to want to set up a camp in there Survivor style to ensure that what comes in never goes out unless they vote on it.
But critics say the bill is aimed at same-sex couples and is one of a host filed this year that target the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage. Other proposed legislation include measures to define a husband and wife by gender and biology and another that would strictly define marriage in Tennessee as being between one man and one woman
**I would like to define marriage as me and Ryan Gosling
Charitey Mackenzie and her wife, Heather, are worried because the legislature, particularly Weaver's bill, could dramatically change their family. Charitey Mackenzie is pregnant with the couple’s second child, conceived through artificial insemination.
She is due to deliver the couple’s baby in September, after Weaver's proposed repeal of the state law would take effect.
“You feel like we finally made it,” Charitey Mackenzie said, referring to measures that have given her and her wife the ability to have a family. “And you see (Weaver’s bill) and you think what year is it, are we stepping back in time?”
The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which supports marriage between one man and one woman, is pushing the legislation. David Fowler, the group's president, said the bill "is related to vital records, not what takes place between a physician and their patient."
**well this could be Utah at least it is only one man and one woman, polygamy not happening here as this is Christian Jesus not that other Mormon one
The debate has generated accusations that lawmakers are grandstanding and trying to undermine the rights of mostly same-sex couples through pieces of legislation that would make it almost impossible for them to marry and become parents in Tennessee.
“That is scary in a way, and even though it might not have legs to stand on, these people really think this should happen,” Charitey Mackenzie said.
Lawyers criticize, support effort
Lawyers say the intent is clear, even though the wording in bills is sometimes vague and obscure to the average citizen.
“It shows their motivation,” said Julia Tate-Keith, a Murfreesboro attorney.
“They’re not stepping into a straight couple’s marriage, are they,” she said, referring to the handful of conservative legislators sponsoring legislation taking aim at her rights as a married lesbian and the rights of others.
Tate-Keith is convinced there are some lawmakers subtly trying to undermine the rights of the LGBT community, despite Supreme Court rulings and opinions delivered by the state attorney general.
Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, and fellow Wilson County lawmaker Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, filed legislation to define marriage as between one man and one woman and nullify all marriages that don't meet that criteria.
**I cannot help that the woman's name is Beaver, my God it is like a Beavis and Butthead moment
Beavers and Pody argue that the high court's decision is a breach of state sovereignty and the Tennessee Constitution.
Fowler said the bills are only an attack on judicial "overreach," not any one group of people.
"If they are an attack on anything, they are an attack on judicial activism," Fowler said.
State law and gender-based roles
Many of Tennessee’s laws regarding marriage and parenting have not been formally updated through legislation since the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision.
House Bill 33, sponsored by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, and Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, would update state law to assign gender-based definitions to the terms “mother,” “father,” “husband” and “wife” to be “based on biological distinctions.”
**but what about the test tube artificial insemination baby.. is that the Doctors baby and what if he holds the baby up after birth and goes "AHHHAYEAAH" is he the baby daddy?
Bowling and Ragan defended the legislation, saying it merely codified judicial opinions delivered in the publicized same-sex divorce and custody case in Knoxville between Sabrina and Erica Witt, who fought in court over the custody of their child.
"Rights are something that God gives you; the law can't give you that," Bowling said. "What this does is clearly define words. We are a nation of laws. Laws are made up of words, and words have clear understanding — clear meaning."
**and on that note the words the Il Douchebag in Chief use to describe the media connote and reference a word, enemy, that is violent and hostile but what do I know an English teacher?
**and what about cakes and flowers? No laws protecting those from hideous couples demanding as such? Well the idea that therapy to stop the gayness can't happen as therapists can refuse you.
The judge in that case ruled that custody claims could not be awarded to Erica Witt because she did not birth the child and state law had not been updated after the Supreme Court's decision, which did not address custody. But the Tennessee attorney general issued a different opinion.
"The legislature's use of the words 'husband' and 'wife' merely reflects the fact that only opposite-sex marriages were recognized in Tennessee when the statute was enacted in 1977," Herbert Slatery wrote in October.
That changed after the Supreme Court decision, Slatery wrote. "In order to preserve the constitutionality of (state law), therefore, it must now be construed to read: 'A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman's spouse, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the two spouses.' "
Slatery’s opinion has been used as an argument by Weaver and others as justification for their legislation.
Fowler said Slatery's opinion was "shocking" and a great step beyond his bounds.
"Not only is he rewriting the statute, he’s rewriting the statute against the child of two men because neither of them are inseminated," Fowler said.
Legislative leaders: We have bigger priorities
Legislative leaders say issues such as transportation funding and the state’s budget are higher priorities than the marriage-related bills. House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said the legislation is not a primary area of concern.
Democratic leaders also say the legislation is a distraction from other priorities.
**yes such as ensuring all of them watch the sexual harassment video so no more legislators get their hands caught touching in the wrong places.
“We’re talking about a group of people that, yes, is spending its time on bills that are patently unconstitutional that would serve no purpose other than potentially creating lawsuits and forcing our state to go through extensive litigation, which they would inevitably lose at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart, D-Nashville.
Predictions of more of the same
Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, said he doesn't expect some conservative lawmakers to back off on similar legislation.
“I think we can expect the kinds of attacks over the years that you’ve seen activists engage in with respect to Roe versus Wade. They haven’t given up on that,” he said. “I think we’ll see the same thing with marriage equality over the years.”
Fowler said both sides of the issue could claim being attacked, and that his efforts to protect his "traditional" definition of family won't stop.
"We can never not be concerned with the integrity and strength of the family," Fowler said.
For Mackenzie, she and her wife quietly have conversations about how to explain all of this to their adopted 4-year-old.
“I think it’s going to be that thorn in our side that doesn’t go away,” Mackenzie said.
**no but you can and many smart talented people will leave here as the repression, oppression and stigma here is too well ingrained to overcome. You can change laws but those who write them will still always hate you and those who elect them to those positions do as well. So either stay, mobilize and vote or pack and go. Your choice. I choose the latter as I have no dog in the race and the people here are frankly too rude, too unkind and too stupid to bother with. And the few I have met that aren't, aren't from here. Go figure.