Tennessee AG says bill could create conflict with existing law, same-sex marriage ruling
The state attorney general says that courts would likely side with state law that provides for more gender-neutral interpretations over a proposed law that would could also go against the 2014 Supreme Court decision that gave equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Nashville Democrat Rep. Bill Beck requested the opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, which was issued April 13. The House passed HB1111 last month that would assign gender-based definitions to terms like "mother," "father," "husband," and "wife" which many, saw as an attempt to usurp the famed Supreme Court decision that gave equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.
The opinion says the proposed bill could create conflict with an existing statute that would likely result in courts siding with the current state law that would be a more inclusive interpretation of the law.
"Thus, in construing certain statutes with gender-limiting words, a court would likely apply the very specific gender-inclusive requirements of (state law) rather than the very general 'ordinary meaning' requirements of the proposed legislation," Slatery wrote.