Tennessee Judge No Longer Granting Divorces, Blames Same-sex Marriage

Even after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage back in June, I knew that wasn’t going to be the end of the “debate.” I figured, just like they’ve done with abortion, Republicans would stoop to absolutely ridiculous levels to continue trying to deny millions of Americans their Constitutional rights. So, while it was clearly a huge victory, I knew there was still plenty of absurd nonsense ahead.


And that’s basically what we’ve seen, though nothing I had seen thus far really surprised me. I fully expected some states to argue that they should get out of the “marriage business,” while others pointlessly tried to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision. I even expected some people to make spectacles out of themselves, like Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis has.

But nothing so far had left me speechless – until now.

Apparently, a Tennessee judge has decided to stop granting divorces, blaming the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage bans as the reason why.

Hamilton County Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton denied the divorce petition of Thomas Bumgardner, 65, and his wife, Pamela, 61, claiming that the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage convoluted his understanding of when marriage ends:

The conclusion reached by this Court is that Tennesseans have been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court to be incompetent to define and address such keystone/central institutions such as marriage, and, thereby, at minimum, contested divorces.

What?!

I’ve encountered a lot of really twisted “logic” in my day, and this ranks right up there with one of the most asinine things I’ve ever heard.

What does allowing two consenting adults (regardless of gender) to marry have to do with the various situations that might lead to a couple filing for divorce? While divorce is clearly related to marriage, getting married and filing for divorce are two entirely different things.

In my opinion, this just looks like a judge who’s decided to throw a hissy fit over the fact that same-sex marriage is now legal. This “logic” is along the lines of the idiocy showcased by those who’ve claimed that legalizing same-sex marriage would lead to people marrying their hamsters or laptops.


There’s absolutely no basis on which any rational person could say that they’re unsure how to legally handle a divorce due to the fact that same-sex couples can now get married.

Two adult human beings get married, two adult human beings get divorced – nothing has changed. 

What we really need to be talking about in this country is legislation that imposes severe punishments on elected officials, politicians or employees of the government who refuse to do their jobs in direct violation of the Constitution.

Because when public officials who swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws it supports start abusing their powers for political activism, that’s illegal and should be grounds for immediate removal from office.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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