TN lawmaker suggests getting rid of state marriage licenses

Rep. Rick Womick, R-Murfreesboro, holds up a mailer he said targeted him for mounting a challenge for House speaker during a Republican caucus meeting in Nashville on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014.

NASHVILLE - While a group of Republican state legislators is still studying what, if any, action lawmakers should take to oppose a U.S. Supreme Court decision authorizing gay marriage, state Rep. Rick Womick has proposed a new option: Eliminate state marriage licenses completely.

Womick, R-Rockvale, an ardent critic of the court's ruling, told the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro that Tennessee should revert to being a common-law state on marriage and stop issuing licenses for couples to wed.

"That would take the state out of the marriage business altogether," Womick said. "I think that's probably the best approach given the legal climate."

State Attorney General Herbert Slatery has declared Tennessee is bound to abide by the high court's decision despite a provision in Tennessee's constitution that says marriage can only involve one man and one woman.