Up there in Tennessee Republican ... because, of course ... Governor Bill Haslam has just signed what has been dubbed the "Natural and Ordinary Meaning" bill.
Natural and Ordinary meaning? What does that even mean?
It means that, for any law or government form where terms are not specifically defined the "natural and ordinary meaning" of the words in the law apply. As an example, in the phrase, "All men are created equal" it could now mean that, at least in Tennessee, women are not included.
And, under this new bill, in Tennessee, a same-sex couple could be refused the right to have both parents' names listed on a birth or adoption certificate, if the law or form specifies "husband and wife," or "mother and father" because, you know, two mothers or two fathers.
It kinda sounds like a way to attack the LGBT community since, you know, we won the right to be legally married and some folks in Tennessee cannot move beyond that and so they’ll do anything to impede equality.
Need more proof that it’s basically an anti-LGBT piece of legislations? Well, the bill was heavily lobbied for by the Family Action Council of Tennessee, AKA FACT—ironically named it seems—whose head bigot, David Fowler claims that the Natural and Ordinary Meaning bill was needed to ensure Tennessee courts only accept a “'traditional' definition of family."
"So when we say husband, we mean a man. When we say father, we mean a man. This is an attempt to tell the court ... when we use a word, we mean for it to mean what everybody thinks it means." — David Fowler
Ah, but guess what, David, when I use the word ‘husband,’ I mean it to describe the man I married and no little hate bill of yours will ever change that. And in a same-sex household with adoptive children, or birth children, father could mean either one of the two men who are the parents in the household.
And if anyone reading this still thinks this bill wasn’t an attack on LGBT people, then listen to the bill’s sponsor in the Senate, Republican ... because, of course ... John Stevens, who first claimed the bill wasn't about same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, but then finally admitted that he hoped the legislation would "do what Justice Scalia emphasized people should do and that is look at the meaning of the word at the time the legislation was passed" referring to Scalia's dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges.
Yes, even the bill’s sponsor says it is designed to harm LGBT community and same-sex couples.
Another Republican lawmaker, Senator Richard Briggs, put it more hate-filled:
"When you have same-sex couples and try to define better what are—what do parental rights mean when you have maybe a natural mother and a not natural other parent. And the same and be said, for fathers."
A natural mother and a not natural mother? How to describe them? Um, two mothers? And the same and be said, for fathers. Seems fairly simple to anyone, except a bigot.
Call me crazy, but I have an idea ... howsabout just telling the bigots and homophobes to get used to the idea of two husbands or two wives in a marriage, and two mothers or two fathers making up a family.
That would seem a whole lot cheaper than facing all the discrimination lawsuits that will be leveled at Tennessee if they continue along this path.