Nashville Council supports gay marriage ruling

While several county commissions around the state have passed resolutions opposing gay marriage, Nashville’s Metro Council has taken the opposition position, reports The Tennessean.

In a unanimous vote, the 40-member council late Tuesday approved a resolution asking the Davidson County state delegation to comply with last year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage and to oppose any state legislation that is not compliant with it.

The resolution’s lead sponsors were council members Nancy VanReece of Madison and Brett Withers of East Nashville, the only two openly gay members on the council. The legislation had several co-sponsors.

“This is letting folks know on the Hill that we request that they simply confer with the Supreme Court ruling on this matter,” VanReece said.

Before the vote, Withers gave particularly personal remarks, asking his colleagues “that I be treated the same as you and that you reaffirm my right to marriage equality.”

…State legislation known as the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act that would have directed Tennessee to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex ruling quickly died in the legislature last month.

Nevertheless, gay rights advocates are still flagging a handful of bills they view as hostile to the recent court ruling.

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Mae Beavers and state Rep. Mark Pody — who also were the sponsors of the Natural Marriage Defense Act — would purportedly require legislative approval of U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Separate legislation aimed at transgender people would require students use restrooms or changing rooms that correspond with their birth certificates.

Another bill sponsored by Beavers would seek to define the terms husband, wife, male and female as used in all governmental offices.

A fourth bill, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, says that clergy, pastors, ministers or other religious-affiliated individuals would not be required to solemnize any marriage that would “violate a sincerely held religious belief.”