The Tennessee state constitution defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, so state lawmakers have designated a day each year to celebrate that.
Legislators have decided to designate one day each year to celebrate what they consider "traditional marriage," so Aug. 31 is now known as "ido4life Traditional Marriage Day" in Tennessee.
While the day is still months away, it already has plenty of people talking, and at least one group says it plans to ignore the resolution and call that day something else.
Pastor Lyndon Allen takes a special interest in marriage, as he mentors newlyweds and married couples at Woodmont Bible Church.
"Without marriage, the place just falls apart," Allen said.
That is why Allen said he's worked all legislative session to get lawmakers to pass the resolution declaring Traditional Marriage Day. The idea, he said, is to get single men and women to take the next step.
"Men who are single earn less than their married counterparts," Allen said. "Children who are born to unmarried parents have an 80 percent higher risk for poverty."
But not everyone thinks the state resolution sends the right message.
Chris Sanders, with the Tennessee Equality Project, has been watching the resolution all year, and when it passed, Sanders and his organization printed out a statement of their own, proclaiming Aug. 31 as "Tennessee Marriage Equality Day" instead.
"We're not opposed to traditional marriages, but we believe traditional marriage should be for everyone," Sanders said.
Allen, who does not support gay marriage, said, "I may not agree with your coupling: men with men and women with women, but I do applaud your pursuing in culture what is valuable which is marriage. I wish more heterosexual cohabitational households would pursue marriage with the same degree of passion. We need to get married," said Allen.
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