Republican lawmakers in Tennessee godlessly killed a bill that would have banned child marriages, just to bolster a bigoted conservative lawyer’s case versus the Supreme Court decision for gay marriage, The Tennessean reported on Wednesday.
The bill, which was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Darren Jernigan, would outlawed marriages in the state where one of those being wed is under 18.
Jernigan, and the Senate sponsor Senator Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, noted a loophole back in February that allows a judge discretion to give marriage certificates to individuals under 18 without any minimum age limit.
In 2016, forty-two men and 166 women that were under the age of 18 got married in Tennessee, The Tennessean reported.
The Nonprofit group Unchained at Last reports that it has discovered at least three marriages in Tennessee that involved a child that was 10 years old.
Jernigan and supporters of the bill say that the loophole resulted in female minors getting married to much older men, meaning they faced significantly higher chances of being sexually abused.
Jernigan insisted it was disgraceful that Child Abuse Casada was using Fowler’s theory to combat same-sex marriage as the motive to stop the child marriage ban from being enacted.
“Basically, what has happened is the Family Action Council wants to continue to let 13-year-olds get married in the state at the sake of their court case against same-sex couples,” Jernigan explained. “It’s disgraceful. I’m embarrassed for the State of Tennessee, and I can only pray that we bring this back next year and not let them get in the way.”
Republicans stopped the bill after an getting an email from lawyer David Fowler, who is a bigoted former state senator and currently the president for the Family Action Council of Tennessee, which is a Christian-based hate group against same-sax marriage.