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You are here News Human Rights Tennessee's marriage law is fundamentally backward. The courts should strike it down.

Tennessee's marriage law is fundamentally backward. The courts should strike it down.

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Tennessee marriage laws have to goTennessee Gov. Bill Lee recently signed a bill into law that allows public officials to refuse to solemnize marriages.

When I initially heard about the bill, I was under the mistaken impression that it applied only to ministers. However, upon further examination, I realized that it goes much further than that. Rather than simply reaffirming the right of ministers to refuse to perform marriages, the law also allows for discrimination by public officials in the solemnization of marriages. I believe this aspect of the law raises serious equal protection questions.

I have been a strong supporter of the freedom of private individuals to associate – or choose not to associate – with whomever they please.

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