God might soon answer to the divine law of Blount County, Tennessee.
Officials from the rural Tennessee county are considering a new resolution that condemns the “judicial tyranny” of the Supreme Court’s June decision legalizing gay marriage. The ruling, Blount County officials prophesy, will inspire God to wreak his holy anger upon an unspecified swath of Tennessee and/or America.
With the proposed resolution, these officials are taking their complaints straight to God, begging him to spare Blount County (population 125,100) his almighty wrath.
“With a firm reliance on the providence of the Almighty God, WE the BLOUNT COUNTY LEGISLATURE call upon all Officers of the State of Tennessee … to join US, and utilize all authority within their power to protect Natural Marriage, from lawless court opinions AND THE financial schemes of the enemies of righteousness,” the proposed resolution reads.
The resolution was drafted by Blount County Commissioner Karen Miller, who contends that America’s newfound acceptance of gay marriage will surely drive God to destroy the country in a rain of fire and brimstone. Miller isn’t trying to save America as a whole—she understands the limits of her jurisdiction—but is asking the Almighty to direct his wrath away from Blount County.
“We adopt this Resolution before God that He pass us by in His Coming Wrath and not destroy our County as He did Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities,” Miller’s resolution reads. “As the Passover Lamb was a means of salvation to the ancient Children of Israel, so we stand upon the safety of the Lamb of God to save us.”
The exact mechanics of God’s wrath, should he choose to obey this resolution, are unclear. Would he obliterate another county instead of Blount, or would he destroy every plot of land outside the county borders, leaving Blount’s 125,100 residents to scramble for survival and natural resources as local infrastructure and sanity crumbled? Miller did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
The resolution will be considered during a Tuesday night meeting, during which a number of gay-rights activists are expected to raise their objections.
“It’s discouraging that elected officials become demagogues like this, but we didn’t wallow in despair. We decided to organize,” Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, told The Daily Beast.
The Tennessee Equality Project, along with other LGBTQ activist groups like PFLAG Maryville, are expecting approximately 100 protesters outside the Tuesday night meeting.
“I’m worried particularly about LGBT youth,” Sanders said of the resolution’s potential impact. “When you’re growing up in a rural part of the state, if your elected leaders are sending that message about you, it says ‘Stay in the closet, you’re not valued.’”
Some activists doubt the resolution will pass, but still plan to protest its message.
“I don’t think it’s likely to pass but you just never know with these small-town commissions,” Rebecca Lucas, founder of PFLAG Maryville, said. “I’m hoping more level heads will prevail.”
If the resolution does pass, it could give momentum to similar resolutions in other counties, as well as a statewide bill that hopes to make gay marriage illegal in Tennessee once again. Filed in Nashville, the state’s capital, this September, the “Natural Marriage Defense Act” seeks to nullify the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling. The state legislature is expected to consider the bill in January.
The act, if passed, will likely be ruled unconstitutional. But critics say even the introduction of anti-gay legislation is harmful to members of the LGBTQ community.
“At a time when we think things are getting better for LGBT kids this is just another slap in the face,” Sanders said.