News (USA)

Hawkins County approves antigay marriage resolution

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. — Despite last week’s defeat of a proposed state bill that sought to defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, two Tennessee counties have attempted to vote on resolutions against the ruling.

A Hawkins County resolution against the ruling was approved 13-3 on Monday with three abstentions, the Kingsport Times-News reported.

It is unclear what effect the resolution will have, though, since the Tennessee House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 4-1 on Jan. 20 against the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon. Pody argued that the ruling should not supersede an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

In light of the defeated bill, Hawkins County Commissioner John Metz suggested tabling the county resolution, but Commissioner B.D. Cradic answered with a resounding, “No!”

“It’s a time that we take a stand on what our beliefs are,” Cradic said. “I gotta vote my conscience and my heart, because one day I will stand in front of God.”

The Washington County Commission was also due to vote on a similar resolution Monday, but the commission canceled its entire meeting because of overcrowding inside a packed 200-seat courtroom, the Johnson City Press ( ) reported.

The vote was postponed so a larger venue could be found to host the public meeting.

“This is a public meeting, and anyone wishing to attend should at least be able to listen to the proceedings,” Senior Attorney Tom Seeley said.

Officials voted 13-10 to try to hold the meeting at a later date at the Millennium Centre in Johnson City.

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