Constitutional Government Defense FUnd
The Constitutional Government Defense Fund (CGDF) is an initiative associated with Alliance for Law and Liberty
and is a litigation ally for The Family Action Council of Tennessee.
The purpose of CGDF is to evaluate the prosecution of lawsuits where government actions violate constitutional principles that, if unchecked, will prohibit the state of Tennessee from protecting life and the institution of marriage.
The first action taken was the filing of lawsuits related to the constitutional effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision June 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges. After a multi-year battle, the Court of Appeals for the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed the lawsuits
. It held that ministers who must sign marriage licenses and the state’s Certificate of Marriage for a marriage to be lawful did not have an “injury” sufficient to have the judicial branch determine whether the licenses they were signing were validly issued or whether the marriages they were solemnizing were defined contrary to their religious beliefs.
Thereafter, a Petition for a Declaratory Order
was filed with Governor Lee and the Department of Health, which is responsible for the state’s Certificate of Marriage, asking that they clarify the nature of the marital relationship they were creating for the state under state policy. The Petition was denied.