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Tennessee Gov. Lee signs bill permitting officials to decline to perform same-sex marriages

The Supreme Court in 2015 ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that states must both recognize and perform same-sex marriages on constitutional grounds.

Published: February 21, 2024 9:48pm

Tennessee GOP Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday signed legislation permitting public officials cite conscientious or religious objections as grounds to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage.

The bill does not ban same-sex marriages nor does it give officials the authority to reject marriage licenses to same-sex couples, The Hill reported. It merely states that objecting individuals "shall not be required to solemnize a marriage."

LGBT groups have criticized the bill, though Republicans have contended it imposes no restrictions upon same-sex couples and does not impede their receipt of marriage licenses. The Supreme Court in 2015 ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that states must both recognize and perform same-sex marriages on constitutional grounds.

In December of 2022, President Joe Biden signed the "Respect for Marriage Act" into law, codifying certain protections for same-sex couples and interracial pairings.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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