silhouette of a man and woman reading newspapers with words press statement underneath on peach background

Statement on Lawsuit to Redefine Marriage in Tennessee

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (October 21, 2013) —David Fowler, President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, issued a statement today in response to a lawsuit by the National Center for Lesbian Rights against the definition of marriage found in Tennessee’s legal code.

The lawsuit filed in federal court today by the National Center for Lesbian Rights is nothing more than an effort to force upon Tennesseans the definition of marriage in California and New York in complete disregard of the definition supported by 81% of the voters in Tennessee in 2006. The vast majority of Tennesseans then – and now – believe that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman.

This lawsuit strikes at the very heart of the sovereignty of the individual states and the respect the Constitution provides to the states through the principle of federalism. In fact, this past summer, the United States Supreme Court, affirming its previous decisions, said, “Each state as a sovereign has a rightful and legitimate concern in the marital status of persons domiciled within its borders.”

New York and California may have the freedom, as sovereign states, to define marriage as they want, but Tennesseans should be accorded that same right.

The Constitution does not prohibit the voters of Tennessee from determining what different cultures throughout history have found, that marriage between a man and woman benefits society in ways that no other relationship can. Tennesseans understand that men and women are not interchangeable parts when it comes to the well-being of children, and those children represent the future health of our state.

We trust that an unelected federal judge will not impose on our state a policy that intentionally deprives a child of the complementary qualities that a mom and dad bring into a child’s life, and tramples on Tennessee’s sovereign rights.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on the family. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit factn.org.

silhouette of a man and woman reading newspapers with words press statement underneath on peach background

Statement on Davidson County Same-Sex Marriage Application

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (August 7, 2013) —David Fowler, President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, issued a statement in response to an application for a marriage license in Davidson County by a same-sex couple.

Earlier today, Will Peyton and Jef Laudieri, a same-sex couple, applied for a marriage license in Davidson County, Tenn. The license was not issued based on Section 18 of Article XI of the Tennessee Constitution, which provides in part:

The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state.

“The issue that arose today was whether the clear will of 81 percent of Tennessee’s voters, who chose to define marriage in our state constitution as being between one man and one woman, would be circumvented because a small minority disagree,” Fowler said.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on the family. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit factn.org.

silhouette of a man and woman reading newspapers with words press statement underneath on peach background

Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Marriage/DOMA Decisions

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (June 26, 2013) —David Fowler, President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, made the following statement in response to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court protecting marriage:

The Supreme Court today essentially preserved the status quo as it relates to the meaning and purpose of marriage. It allows the states to define marriage. This is a victory for marriage in Tennessee. In Tennessee, marriage will remain the unique, timeless, and universally defined relationship involving a man and a woman that provides the optimal environment for the well being of children.

No doubt, the day will come when the United States Supreme Court will have the issue of the constitutionality of gay marriage squarely before it, but until then, the right of the people in their respective states to debate the meaning and value of marriage will continue. That is as it should be.

See FACT’s resources for understanding the Supreme Court’s decision.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on the family. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit factn.org.

silhouette of a man and woman reading newspapers with words press statement underneath on peach background

Statement on Columbia State’s Violation of First Amendment

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (June 20, 2013) —David Fowler, President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, made the following statement in response to an incident at Columbia State Community College and the implications on First Amendment rights:

The recent letter from Alliance Defending Freedom to the President of Columbia State Community College demonstrates the kind of hostility toward First Amendment rights that exists in the counseling-related fields of study in our state’s public colleges. It is also a prime example of why the Tennessee House of Representatives should join the state Senate in passing legislation to protect the constitutional rights of students in our public colleges in counseling-related fields of study.

It is outrageous that the lead faculty member in the Psychology Department at Columbia State Community College forced her students to wear rainbow ribbons outside of the classroom in support of homosexual behavior in order to receive class credit. Worse yet, she also instructed them that, if asked, they were to explain that they were showing support for the homosexual community and its political agenda. It is a classic case of government-coerced speech.

To the state Senate’s credit, it overwhelmingly passed legislation last year that protected the First Amendment rights of students in our public colleges who must fulfill a counseling internship requirement in order to graduate. The bill allowed a student counselor to have a client referred to another counselor if the goal to be achieved by the counseling would force the student counselor to violate his or her strongly held religious beliefs.

The situation at Columbia State demonstrates the kind of hostility by liberal faculty members in our public colleges that exists towards those who do not share their political and social views. It should provide the state House of Representatives all the proof it needs to join the Senate by passing House Bill 1185 next year.

House Bill 1185, sponsored by Rep. John DeBerry (D-Memphis), is pending before the House Education Subcommittee. The companion bill, Senate Bill 514, was sponsored by Sen. Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) and passed the Senate in March by a vote of 22-4.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on the family. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit factn.org.

silhouette of a man and woman reading newspapers with words press statement underneath on peach background

Statement on Boy Scout Vote

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (May 23, 2013) —David Fowler, President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee, made the following statement in response to the decision of the vote of the Boy Scouts of America to forsake its long-stand policy on sexuality:

The leaders of the Boy Scouts of America from across the nation have spoken. But what they have said will saddle a great organization with challenges and complexities that always come with giving in to the politics of sex.

They have unwisely chosen to disrespect the values of thousands of parents and a large percentage of their sponsoring organizations. Today, the values of Scouting were changed forever, and its historic strengths put in jeopardy.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on the family. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good. For more information, visit factn.org.