State House Republicans in Tennessee on Wednesday effectively killed a bill to ban child marriages in an effort to bolster a conservative lawyer’s case against the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.
The bill called for the state to ban marriages where one of the parties is under 18 years old.
House Majority Leader Glen Casada (R) was convinced to send the bill to summer study in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee after an email from attorney David Fowler, a former state senator, The Tennessean reported on Wednesday.
Summer study is a place where bills often die before they return for debate, effectively killing the bill’s chances to be passed.
Fowler’s email said he is preparing a lawsuit to counter the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges.
Fowler is arguing that the Supreme Court’s ruling essentially nullified all Tennessee marriage licenses when it opened the spectrum of legal marriage beyond just between a man and a woman, The Tennessean reported.
If Tennessee were to ban child marriages by modifying state marriage law, lawmakers would be acknowledging the existence of same-sex marriage, according to Fowler’s legal theory.
Read the full story at The Hill