By David Tulis
More than a hundred people in a homosexual relationship have received marriage licenses from Hamilton County clerk Bill Knowles. The licenses were issued from June 26 through Feb. 3, according to a county spreadsheet.
The rush to homosexual nuptials was the U.S. supreme court’s publication of the Obergefell v. Hodges opinion, which is generally said to have overturned marriage in all 50 states.
The 101 gay unions are nearly 7 percent of marriages licensed by Tennessee state government in Hamilton County.
Altogether Mr. Knowles licensed 1,469 marriages in that period. The balance of 93 percent are contracted between one man and one woman.
July 2 was the busiest day for homosexual unions in the county. Six couples obtained state permission and a license for their same-sex relations, all of which are recorded by Mr. Knowles as lawful and legal, no different than the licenses issued that day to man-woman couples.
The number of gays in Hamilton County tally at least three times as large as the 1.7 percent of the American population said to be homosexual. Gallup says 3.8% of the adult population “identify themselves” as “lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”
The rate may be disproportionately in favor of same-sex couples because Hamilton County’s being the seat of a city. Homosexuality is less common in rural America, where marriage is part of traditional and conservative culture.
In rural counties near Chattanooga 2.28 percent of licenses have been to gays.
➤ Sequatchie County licensed 67 marriages, none to gays, clerk Charlotte Cagle says.
➤ Rhea County issued 116 licenses from June 1 through Feb. 8, with three being same-sex, according to clerk Linda Shaver.
➤ Bradley County clerk Donna Simpson says 560 marriages of all kind were licensed, of which 14 were between people of the same sex. The period in question is from June 26 through Feb. 8.
Obergefell is an attempt by the court majority to reconstruct the mores and perspective of a people who at their nation’s founding were largely Christian. The project is egalitarian in theory and relies on state power for its accomplishment.
What the state creates, it controls
Homosexuals cannot marry at common law, which is essentially biblical in its holdings about the human race. They marry as a matter of state grant, privilege and permission, accomplishing effectively a right an act and relationship that was a capital offense in the original 13 American colonies.
For that is the definition of license. A license is “a permission, usu. revocable, to commit some act that would otherwise be unlawful,” says Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th edition. A license is permission to do an act unlawful, illegal or otherwise forbidden.
Couples who marry under the state’s authority do two important things against self-interest.
They create a marriage bond with three partners, the state being the primary and enabling partner, and thus able to claim important authority over the fruit of that union, namely the children. Secondarily, when a man and woman marry under state license, they forsake the exercise of a right to marry entirely on their own. In asking the state for a permission to wed, they pretend they lack capacity to unite in wedlock until death.
Marriage is a common law right because it comes from the creation of mankind. Every man has a right from God to marry the woman of his choosing, and she has every right to accept a man of her choosing. This right exists in every human being, regardless of whether he or she believes in a creator God. Constitutions refer to such rights as unalienable because they are God-given.
Homosexuals have no choice in the marriage question except through favor from the state. Gays need permission to do what is unlawful and otherwise a crime. Republicans and Democrats in Nashville have used Obergefell to impose homosexual unions on all.
Unlike gays, people in traditional culture or in Christianity have an absolute right to marry apart from any court opinion or any state law.
Tennessee law pretends to have deleted the right to marry and having replaced it with marriage through agency of the state. As David Fowler points out in his Feb. 4 Bradley County lawsuit over Tennessee’s marriage law, the state has made marriage a subject of regulation since 1778.
In Title 36 the sovereign declares void any marriage contracted within the state but outside its authority. In other words, state government rejects marriage as an exercise of common law right and views any common law marriage contracted within the state as a nullity. A couple who enters marriage at common law in Tennessee cannot resort to its courts in a divorce. The state in its high-handedness imposes bastardy on children born outside of statutory wedlock.
Obergefell aside, marriage law is directory in Tennessee at best, a legal fiction that cannot stand a true assertion of a constitutional rights properly claiming a free course of innocent liberty. Marriage law cannot extinguish unalienable rights to marriage. The state is mere pretense as against any man’s natural right before God to marry the woman of his choosing.
Marriage as a right — yes, not as a privilege
The state’s claim to exclusive jurisdiction over marriage in the name of public morals and the good order of society is full of pride. It haughtily denigrates ancient rights that precede state and church.
So what is common law marriage? What is its form? Marriage under the constitution is established five ways: Capacity, consent, consummation (sexual intercourse), cohabitation and holding-forth. A state license is a document asserting these conditions are met without anyone having to take the trouble to prove them.
— David Tulis hosts a show 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays at AM 1240 Hot News Talk Radio, covering local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond.