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TN Attorney General Unable to Derail Pro-Life Law

This week the Judiciary Committee in the Tennessee Senate moved to the Senate floor a bill that would ban post-viability abortions except where necessary to save the life or physical health of the mother. Though multiple laws exactly like this one now exist and none have been ruled unconstitutional, Tennessee’s attorney general issued an opinion saying the bill was “constitutionally suspect” because it, like the other laws, did not include an exception for a mother’s “emotional health.” Thankfully, the committee was provided testimony from someone who is truly an expert relative to constitutional law and abortion, and the majority voted in favor of the bill despite the attorney general’s opinion.

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Motion to ‘Recall’ and Vote on Fetal Heartbeat Bill Tabled

On Monday evening, Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) invoked Senate Rule 63 for SB 1236, the Senate version of the “fetal heartbeat” bill, in an attempt to bring the bill to the full Senate after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted the week before to study the bill this summer.

However, Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), the Republican majority leader, moved to table the motion and Speaker McNally then quickly called for a voice vote on the motion to table and ruled that the tabling motion had passed. In doing so, Speaker McNally and Republican Majority Leader Johnson denied Sen. Pody his “right to be heard after the motion to table is made and before said motion to table is put to vote,” as provided in Senate Rule 48.

So, as of now, the Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on August 13 and 14 to learn more about the bill.

Sen. Pody tweeted on April 23, “Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers for The Heart Beat Bill. We will be working to save the lives of these babies in Summer Study.”

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Amazon, Other Companies Seek Defeat of Tennessee Pro-Family Legislation

Amazon is one of a number of companies that have signed a letter asking Tennessee legislators to defeat legislation it deems anti-LGBT, including Family Action of Tennessee’s School Protection Act and another bill that would provide conscience protections for adoption and foster care child placement agencies that, based on their religious convictions, choose to place children in those homes where the child will have a mother and a father.

The letter, which was coordinated by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce and a national organization, Freedom for All Americans, made a veiled threat that economic consequences will result from such legislation.

Additionally, Nike is one of 11 companies signing a similar letter coordinated by the Human Rights Campaign.

While these companies have every right to express their beliefs, let’s be sure that their influence is not disproportionately felt. Let your legislators know how you stand on these issues and then take the time to thank them if they vote consistent with your values.

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FACT Files Rule 60 Motion in Williamson County Chancery Court

On Monday, the Constitutional Government Defense Fund, a strategic litigation initiative of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, filed a Motion for Relief from Judgment in the Chancery Court in Williamson County, Tenn., asking the court to set aside its earlier judgment dismissing the claims of five Williamson County residents related to the administration of Tennessee’s marriage licensing statutes by the Williamson county clerk following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Earlier this year, it was learned that the provisions in Tennessee’s Constitution that prohibit the state from licensing marriages between two people of the same sex were deliberately not enjoined by the federal court that heard the same-sex “marriage” lawsuit filed against Gov. Haslam.

The basis of the motion is those constitutional provisions still apply and they expressly make “void and unenforceable” “purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one man and one woman.”

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Taylor Swift Funds LGBT Advocacy Group

Singer Taylor Swift, who grew up in Nashville, gave $113,000 to Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBT organization that lobbies at the state Capitol.

Along with the donation, Swift sent a note to Executive Director Chris Sanders that said, “Dear Chris, I’m writing you to say that I’m so inspired by the work you do, specifically in organizing the recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders standing up against the ‘Slate of Hate’ in our state legislature.”

That “slate” includes a bill to prevent adoption/foster care placement agencies from being sued for not placing children with same-sex couples if doing so is based on religious or moral conviction, as well as Family Action of Tennessee’s Business Protection Act and School Protection Act.

Last year, Swift broke her silence concerning her personal political views to endorse Phil Bredesen for Senate over then-Congressman Marsha Blackburn and said in reference to Blackburn’s viewpoint, “These are not MY Tennessee values.”

Well, Ms. Swift, we say in reference to what you are now endorsing, “These are not OUR Tennessee values.”

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