Tenn. Governor Signs Sneaky Anti-LGBT Bill Saying Laws Have "Natural And Ordinary" Meaning
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation requiring words in Tennessee law to be interpreted as having their “natural and ordinary meaning.” Gay rights groups called it a sneaky way of denying same-sex couples the legal rights and protections granted to a “husband,” a “wife,” a “father” or “mother.”
No other state has a similar law, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates nationally for LGBT rights.
Haslam declared when he signed the bill on Friday that the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage is the law of the land, and this legislation does nothing to change that.
But the Family Action Council, which describes itself as defending conservative Christian values, made it clear while campaigning for the law that its purpose is to prevent judges from defining references to husband or wife, which appear throughout the Tennessee Code, as the gender-neutral “spouse.”