Just weeks after posting a rant on his Facebook page calling for the impeachment of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Rep. Rick Womick is back in the news again, this time for sending a letter to all 95 Tennessee county clerks urging them to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"In the letter, Womick told county clerks the Supreme Court is redefining a legally recognized marital contract in Tennessee, making it void and unenforceable in the state. He also said they should ignore the Supreme Court’s decision.
'We are going to redefine marriage as this. They don’t have the power. Only Congress and state legislators have that power to create law,' Womick said. 'These clerks, by ignoring the opinion, will be in violation of no federal law. All they’re in violation of is the opinion of individuals in black robes.'
Womick said he believes Gov. Bill Haslam and the state attorney general are bullying county clerks.
'Instead, he took it upon himself to intimidate our county clerks,' Womick said. 'Within minutes after the opinion, the AG started calling the clerks’ offices telling them they need to honor the court’s opinion.'"
While it's tempting to talk about Womick's over-the-top response, the backwardness of his thinking, or the fact that he might be setting up some gullible county clerk for a costly lawsuit, perhaps the most telling statement about his actions come from the WSMV article itself:
"Womick sent the letter out by mail last Wednesday. So far, he has not received a response from any clerks indicating they would ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling."
And thank goodness for that.