New Marriage Bill Proposed In Tennessee

By: George William

A bill proposal making its way through Tennessee legislature that would establish a common-law marriage between “one man” and “one woman,” according to WKRN.

Opponents of the bill (HB 233) say it would eliminate an age requirement, and in some instances, open the door for a coverup of child sex abuse.

The bill’s sponsor, Tom Leatherwood (Arlington) said the law being considered would add a new marriage option for Tennesseans. “So, all this bill does is give an alternative form of marriage for those pastors and other individuals who have a conscientious objection to the current pathway to marriage in our law.”

But missing from the bill are age requirements, “There is not an explicit age limit,” Leatherwood said.

Representative Mike Stewart (Nashville), who sits on the subcommittee the bill passed out of, said he doesn’t understand the motivation. “I don’t think any normal person thinks we shouldn’t have an age requirement for marriage.”

He added it could open up the possibility to cover up child sex abuse. “It should not be there as it’s basically a get out of jail free card for people who are basically committing statutory rape — I mean it’s completely ridiculous, so that’s another reason why this terrible bill should be eliminated,” Steward said.

The bill will be heard in the House Civil Justice committee Wednesday.

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