David Fowler on Understanding the TN ‘Marriage Lawsuits’

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (January 21, 2016) —Today, David Fowler, an attorney with the Constitutional Government Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit in the Chancery Court of Williamson County, Tenn., on behalf of a number of ministers and concerned citizens over purely legal, constitutional issues created by the United States Supreme Court’s decision on marriage June 26, 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges.

The following statements can be attributed to Mr. Fowler:

“The legal question is really very straightforward: If Tennessee’s current marriage license law, passed in 1995, is unconstitutional, which is what the Obergefell Court actually held, then who passed the new law to replace the old one? Courts can’t pass laws, and the Legislature has not passed a new law since last June. So it stands to reason that there is no marriage licensure law in Tennessee, unless the Supreme Court now thinks, for the first time in history, that it has the power to enact a new law for a state.

“These courageous citizens have asked our state court system to “declare” what the law is after Obergefell. These ministers need to know if the marriage ceremonies they have performed or will be performing are actually of any legal effect. They are merely trying to protect the rights and interests of the couples who come to them thinking that they are getting married when maybe they are not.

“The lawsuit calls attention to the fact that if everyone continues to pretend that the Supreme Court can “pass” a law to replace an existing law that the Court rules invalid, then we will no longer be living under the rule of law but under pretend laws made by judges who pretend to be legislators.”

  • Read more about the lawsuit.
  • The condensed version of Mr. Fowler’s remarks at a press conference held today can be found at this link.
  • To learn what you can do to support the lawsuit and other efforts to challenge the Obergefell ruling, go to the Reclaiming Our Liberty webpage.

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org