Gay marriage plaintiff urges opposition to Tennessee bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A legislative push to preserve the “natural and ordinary meaning” of words in Tennessee law has prompted a visit to the state Capitol by Jim Obergefell, whose landmark U.S. Supreme Court case legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Gay rights groups call the bill awaiting Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature a sneaky way of encouraging state judges to deny rights to same-sex couples when laws use words such as “husband” and “wife,” or “father” and “mother.”

Obergefell declared at a news conference on Wednesday that common decency, American ideals and the U.S. Constitution demand a veto. But Haslam said Monday that he’s been deferring to the legislature on this bill.