Friday, February 24, 2006


Court Rules Vote on Tennessee Gay-Marriage Amendment Can Proceed

The ruling out of Davidson County yesterday was quite expected and, as posted here months ago, was a win-win situation for conservatives. Either the court ruled the publication processes correct, thus allowing the marriage amendment to go to the voters, or the court ruled them in violation of the Tennessee Constitution, in which case the lottery amendment was improperly passed and thus illegal. In either case, the ACLU, as it typical for that organization, was attempting to usurp the majority of Tennesseans through the vehicle of the courts. Supporting them, as I told one of my law professors who proudly claimed ACLU membership, is only one step from being an announced communist. (I suggest F. LaGard Smith's "ACLU: The Devil's Advocate" to those who can manage to find a copy, as it contains more on the connections between the ACLU and communism.)

The Alliance Defense Fund, which represented the General Assembly in defending their actions in passing on the gay-marriage amendment to the voters, published the following press release after the decision was announced.


ACLU gets the boot: Judge dismisses suit seeking to stop vote on Tenn. marriage amendment

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 1:55 PM (MST)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a lawsuit in which attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund defended Tennessee lawmakers, a state judge ruled today that the American Civil Liberties Union had no case against Tennessee’s proposed constitutional amendment protecting marriage. The judge dismissed the ACLU’s case.

“What we’re really discussing here is whether we’re going to let political special interest groups or the law define marriage,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione, who argued the case before the court. “The ACLU’s lawsuit was nothing more than a veiled attempt to use a technicality to stop the will of the people. The court’s ruling today upheld the right of the people to be heard.”

The ACLU lawsuit aimed to prevent Tennesseans from voting on a constitutional amendment proposed by state lawmakers that defines marriage as “the relationship of one man and one woman.” ACLU attorneys claimed that the General Assembly did not publish the text of the amendment soon enough for it to be included on the November 2006 ballot. The judge today disagreed.

According to the ruling, the state constitution does not require the publication to be an act of the General Assembly. Since the text of the amendment never changed from the time it was filed and the time it was published in the media, the judge concluded that “media coverage cured the General Assembly’s default in publication. Under the unique facts of this case, the publication requirement was met and the plaintiffs were not injured,” the judge wrote.

“This is a great victory for the voters, who will decide this issue, not the courts,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker. “The judge respected the will of the voters, pointing out that the voters elected the members of the General Assembly who passed the amendment, and the will of the voters should not be invalidated.”

The full text of the order issued by the Chancery Court for the State of Tennessee, 20th Judicial District, Davidson County, Part III, in the case American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee v. Darnell can be read at

If conservatives are so worried about the family unit that they wan't to control who can and cannot get married, they should outlaw infidelity.

I quess government interference in people's lives has now become a conservative litmus-test issue.
Jack -

Come on down to Order of Protection day in the 4th Circuit of Knox County and tell me that we should keep people together who are being beaten to a pulp, stabbed by their spouses, or even worse.

By the way, this is not a conservative/liberal issue. Neither party could have passed this amendment on its own. The numbers in November will bear out the popular support for this amendment.


Violence would be a legitimate area of prosecution under the law, even if all people had the opportunity to get married.

By the way, national and local polling numbers show that the political-devide on this issue is statistically significant between liberals and conservatives.
sorry... I meant "divide"
Jack -

No problem with the typo. However, the polling numbers are quite in opposition. The only poll that counts will take place in November, and I would be shocked if the amendment doesn't pass by an 18-point spread or more.


I hope it doesn't pass by that margin, although I would not be surprised.

Tennessee Democrats are admittedly more influenced by traditional culturailism than a normal cross section of the entire country. However, progressives and conservatives even in Tennessee are extremely divisive on the issue, regardless of percentage of popular support.

I think this issue may boil down to perception of religion and/or spirituality, although many people are careful to leave this idea out of their argument. - and they probably shouldn't.
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