House panel rejects bill blocking gay marriage in Tennessee

State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, speaks at a rally at the state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in support of his proposal to exclude Tennessee from the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling. Pody said he was undeterred by a projected loss of $8.5 billion in federal funds if the Legislature enacts the measure. At left is state Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet. AP Photo/Erik Schelzig

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A bill seeking to block the U.S. Supreme Court‘s gay marriage ruling in Tennessee has been defeated in a subcommittee of the state House over concerns about nullifying federal rulings.

The five-member panel defeated the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Pody on a voice vote on Wednesday.

Republican Rep. Mike Carter of Chattanooga said that while he disagrees with the high court’s ruling, he considered the bill to turn back the ruling a step too far. In Carter’s words: “I equate nullification with anarchy.”

The state Legislature estimated that the bill could cost the state $8.5 billion in federal Medicaid and welfare money if Tennessee were to deny services to same-sex couples in violation of the Supreme Court ruling.

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