Tennessee Pisses Off Right-Wingers By Recognizing… Divorce Equality? (VIDEO)

The recent Supreme Court decision on marriage equality has forced government officials to re-think the way some things are worded on official documents. A change to a court form in Tennessee caused such an uproar that the state decided to rescind it.

Herbert Slattery, Tennessee’s attorney general, came to the common sense conclusion that if states had to recognize same-sex marriages, they would also have to recognize same-sex divorces. This brought about a change to a form that Tennessee courts use to determine parental rights. Realizing that some children may not have one father, and one mother, the form removed those words, and replaced them with “Parent 1,” and “Parent 2.”

Pretty innocent, wouldn’t you say? Although the original forms were set up so that either “father” or “mother” could be checked twice, once on either side of the form, Slattery thought it would be best to make the small change. Conservatives, and right-wing media lost their collective minds.

“Political correctness gone absolutely amok,” said The Blaze.

“Exit mom, dad – enter ‘Parent 1’, ‘Parent 2’,” reads the headline on One News Now.

The op-ed under that headline at One News Now is by none other than Fox News’s Todd Starnes. Starnes, who loves making up fairy tales about “Christian persecution,” is also taking credit for forcing the courts to abandon the change in the document.

According to WBIR, everything about the change was fine until Memphis attorney Kendra Armstrong did an interview with Starnes on his Fox News radio show. Armstrong told Starnes,

Why are heterosexual parents having their rights violated? So now it’s improper and inappropriate in a court of law to refer to a parent as a mother and a father?

Only in the mind of someone like Armstrong does including same-sex couples in a document’s wording violate the rights of those in a male-female marriage. But wait, it gets better. She also told Starnes,

It’s absolutely ludicrous to make the term mother and father obsolete. Quite frankly, the terms ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’ seem more offensive than mother and father. It’s implying that one parent is the first parent and the other parent is secondary.

First of all, changing the language of one court form is highly unlikely to make “mother and father” obsolete. Especially considering that mothers and fathers would never see the form unless they are getting a divorce. Then there’s the matter of one parent being “secondary.” No, it’s not subordinating one parent, it’s merely a way of identifying one parent from the other.

Attorney K.O. Herston told WBIR,

I told a lawyer friend of mine, I don’t care if we call them ‘mustard’ and the other one ‘mayonnaise.’ It doesn’t matter. I just want to know who am I talking about when we’re dealing with the details that the plan requires us to deal with.

But thanks to Starnes, and Armstrong, Tennessee has reversed the change, and has gone back to the old forms. Starnes suggests that the credit is all his. “A few hours after my column was published the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) announced they were reversing the policy,” he wrote on the Fox News website.

Todd Starnes, keeping Tennessee safe for “mothers and fathers,” but apparently not for “parent 1” and “parent 2.”

Here’s a report, from WBIR:

Featured image via Details/Christopher Griffith