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Sponsor of anti-gay marriage bill is undaunted by $8.5B cost

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The Tennessee lawmaker who introduced a bill seeking to bar the state from following the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling says he is undeterred by a projected loss of $8.5 billion in federal funds if the Legislature enacts the measure.

State Rep. Mark Pody said at a rally at the state Capitol Tuesday that the proposal he’s dubbed the "Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act" is worth any cost, even though the Lebanon Republican disputed the estimated loss of federal funds.

The proposal is scheduled for its first hearing in a House subcommittee Wednesday afternoon. Pody is urging supporters to contact the five members of the panel to persuade them not to kill the bill.

Hedy Weinberg with the Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says gay marriage supporters will also be on hand.

“Individuals who love each other, who are same-sex couples, have the right to marriage. They were given that right most recently by the United States Supreme Court, and in no way does that hurt anyone’s religious liberty.”

WMOT reached out to the bill’s co-sponsor, Mt. Juliet Senator Mae Beavers for her comment, but received no response.