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PNS Daily Newscast - May 24, 2018 


Jared Kushner finally granted his security clearance. Also on our nationwide rundown: a new lawsuit seeks the release of a gay man from ICE Detention in Pennsylvania; and protecting an Arizona water source for millions near Phoenix.

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TN Natural Marriage Act: Gone, But Effort Not Abandoned

Tennessee lawmakers are considering legislation that would attempt to void same sex marriages in the state, and risk losing $8 billion in federal funds for programs for people in need. (mensatic/morguefile.com)
Tennessee lawmakers are considering legislation that would attempt to void same sex marriages in the state, and risk losing $8 billion in federal funds for programs for people in need. (mensatic/morguefile.com)
January 25, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A state House panel essentially killed a bill that would have attempted to void same sex marriages in Tennessee despite the Supreme Court decision that legalized the practice nationwide.

While the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act won't make it to the floor for a vote, there are other bills and lawsuits pending that seek to challenge the ruling from the highest court.

Aside from impacting the civil rights of thousands, an attempt at the state level to impede same sex marriage could place billions of dollars in federal funds in jeopardy, according to Chris Sanders, a spokesman for the Tennessee Equality Project.

"People are responding to the horrible fiscal note that's attached to the bill, the $8 billion-plus expense that's projected – messing with $8 billion in funding that affects all kinds of people in the state," he points out.

Specifically, the state would lose up to $8 billion in federal funding for TennCare, SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits.

Rep. Mark Pody, a Republican from Lebanon, calls same-sex marriage wicked and wrong.

Sanders says even if you wouldn't be directly impacted by such legislation, it's important to ask future ramifications.

"Which Supreme Court decision will the Legislature pick next to take on and how might that impact you?” he asks. “That's one of the really scary things about this."

In addition to the loss of program funding, Sanders says the state would also incur legal fees from the court challenges that could be expected if legislation is passed.

Neighboring Kentucky incurred a $2 million bill for fighting same sex marriage and Ohio paid just over $1 million.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN