Early Monday morning your fearless AMM representatives drove from Nashville to Memphis, TN, where we were greeted with blue skies and mild weather. It was a great day for outdoor ordination!
When we arrived at Shelby Farms Park to set up, the crowd was already forming. It was our biggest day so far, and on a Monday no less! We met hundreds of ministers and AMM supporters from across the region! Folks had driven in from Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to prepare for upcoming weddings in the volunteer state.
We heard from all backgrounds and beliefs; Agnostics, Christians, Wiccans, all united in defense of religious freedom and opposition to Public Chapter No. 415. Public outrage is growing, and at every stop we make, the crowds get larger. Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Legislature, can you hear the voice of the public yet?
We fully expect Tennessee’s discriminatory new marriage law to be repealed at this point. Lawmakers have told us that there is a willingness to revisit the law, and more lawsuits are being filed every day. We were told that ACLU is about to take legal action against the Tennessee government over Public Chapter No. 415.
We are also exploring our legal options in Tennessee, but lawsuits can take years. To assist and serve our ministers with weddings scheduled for this summer, we are offering in-person ordinations in compliance with the law currently in place to allow them to keep their commitments to couples and focus on the ceremony without worrying whether the marriage will be ruled invalid later on. While we expect the law to be repealed, we felt compelled to do something in the short-and medium term for our ministers.
For now, remember that AMM is here to help YOU – right now, in-person – as we continue our trip around the state. If you need to meet the letter of the law for an upcoming wedding, come see us in Chattanooga (today, June 25), Knoxville (June 26), and Nashville (June 27 & 28). We can provide in-person ordination, satisfying the unfortunate current requirements of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 10-7-504(a).
After a long day of ordinations and travel, we ended our trip to Memphis with an incredible meal at the legendary, world famous, Bar-B-Q Shop on Madison Ave. We’re pretty sure Elvis used to eat here, but don’t quote us on that!