TN Senate Bill 1142 / TN House Bill 721

BILL SUMMARY

Requires that every group health insurance policy, to the extent not preempted by federal law, have coverage for all contraceptive drugs and devices approved by the FDA.

BILL ANALYSIS

This is very similar to the Obamacare mandate on contraception, which resulted in a lawsuit from the Little Sisters of the Poor. The bill does offer a mild religious liberty exception but requires an organization to file for a religious exemption (subject to approval) and offer written notice to prospective enrollees.

BILL SPONSORS

Kyle in the Senate, Powell in the House

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Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

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TN Senate Bill 752 / TN House Bill 892

BILL SUMMARY

This bill is also known as the Natural Marriage Defense Act. It declares that Tennessee will only recognize and give effect to marriages between one man and one woman and will not recognize any court decision that purports to strike down natural marriage.

BILL ANALYSIS

As with a similar bill filed last year, there are several potential legal issues with this bill as written, because of its requirement that the state ignore or “nullify” any court decision, including the U.S. Supreme Court, that issues a ruling contrary to Tennessee state policy on marriage. It could result in all local officials having to defend at local expense lawsuits by same-sex couples for civil rights violations and reimburse the litigants’ legal fees if they lose the lawsuits.

The bill is an improvement on last year’s bill in that would make the state liable to civil rights lawsuits for the non-issuance of same-sex marriage licenses instead of county clerks.

BILL SPONSORS

Beavers in the Senate, Pody in the House

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Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

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TN Senate Bill 1153 / TN House Bill 1406

BILL SUMMARY

Also known as the Insemination Statute Repeal, this bill repeals the statute that deems a child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with the consent of the married woman’s husband, to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.

BILL ANALYSIS

This statute is unnecessary because the Tennessee Code already provides for a presumption of paternity when a child is born to a married husband and wife. In addition, the state’s attorney general has said that the law is unconstitutional after Obergefell v. Hodges. This statute is being used by private litigants as a legal basis for arguing that it is now unconstitutional for the state to define motherhood and fatherhood in relation to biological considerations and procreation.

BILL SPONSORS

Hensley in the Senate, Weaver in the House

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BILL STATUS

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TN Senate Joint Resolution 35

RESOLUTION SUMMARY

Called the Pornography Resolution, this resolution declares pornography a public health crisis.

RESOLUTION ANALYSIS

As a matter of policy, it is good to identify factors that contribute to the breakdown of the family and the need to address it on a community and societal level.

RESOLUTION SPONSORS

Beavers in the Senate, Weaver in the House

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Full Text: Senate Resolution

RESOLUTION STATUS

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TN Senate Bill 1085 / TN House Bill 1111

BILL SUMMARY

This definitions bill requires that undefined words in the Tennessee Code be given their natural and ordinary meaning, except when a contrary intention is clearly manifest.

BILL ANALYSIS

A broad definitions bill that could have a similar effect as SB 30 but would apply to any number of words that private litigants might want courts to redefine.

BILL SPONSORS

Stevens in the Senate, Farmer in the House

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Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

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