beliefsclergyFeaturedHB0878House Bill 0878Mark PodyMarriageMonty FrittsReligious freedomSB0596Senate Bill 0596

Bill To Ensure Religious Freedom, Protections For Tennessee Clergy Has Another Chance For Passage This Session

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Rebecca Scott] –

A bill introduced in the Tennessee Senate in 2023 and deferred to 2024 has been deferred once again.

Senate Bill 0596 (SB0596) is sponsored by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon-District 17). In summary, the bill regarding marriage states, “a person is not required to solemnize a marriage if the person has an objection to solemnizing the marriage based on the person’s conscience or religious beliefs. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 29 and Title 36.”

As reported in 2023 by The Tennessee Conservative, “The legislation would provide protection for all individuals within the state from being made to perform wedding ceremonies if they were not in agreement with the circumstances of the marriage due to a conflict of beliefs.”

No official reason was given as to why the bill was originally deferred in 2023. However, amidst gun control protests at the capitol toward the end of the last session and legislator’s rush to shut down the session, several pieces of legislation were deferred to 2024.

The House version of the bill (HB0878), sponsored by Representative Monty Fritts (R-Kingston-District 32) already passed that chamber during the 2023 session in March.

On Tuesday, January 9, 2024 the Senate bill was deferred to February 6, 2024 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10), chairman of the committee, stated that they are going to try to group bills by issue for consideration so that if there are people who want to speak on a particular topic, everyone knows when to be present in the chamber.

If the bill eventually passes in the senate, it will then be sent to the governor’s desk for his approval.

Rebecca Scott is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. 

You can reach Rebecca at Rebecca@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

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