The Nashville Attorney’s Chapter of The Federalist Society will host a debate on the marriage amendment between Melody Fowler-Green, an attorney formerly with the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and currently an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., and Lynn D. Wardle of Brigham Young University.

Former Circuit Court Judge Russ Heldman will moderate the debate.

Fowler-Green, who represented the ACLU and The Tennessee Equality Project, along with cooperating attorney Abby Rubenfeld, recently went before the state Supreme Court and argued that the Nov. 7 balloted constitutional amendment was not approved and published within the time frame required by the state constitution. The court ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge it.

"Basically they said that since everyone in tennessee is equally hurt by the allegations that the legislature did not follow the constitutionally mandated procedure, then no one can challenge those actions because no one is uniquely affected," Rubenfeld said.

Fowler-Green is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and was the first full-time attorney on staff at the American Civil Liberties Union of  Tennessee. She works in the Nashville based Southern Migrant Legal Services Office for Texas Rural Legal Aid, litigating employment, labor and civil rights cases on behalf of immigrant and migrant  workers. At Georgetown, she was the editor of the Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. She has a  Masters' Degree in Women's Studies from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.A. from  University of Michigan at Flint.

Lynn D. Wardle is a law professor at J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where he has taught since 1978. Mr. Wardle was co-editor of Revitalizing the Institution of Marriage for the Twenty-First Century, An Agenda  or Strengthening Marriage, published in 2002. Wardle received his B.A., cum laude, from Brigham Young University and earned his J.D., with distinction, from Duke University where he served on the editorial board of the Duke Law  Journal. He is a past president of  the International Society of Family Law.

"The community is invited," said Rubenfeld. "I encourage everyone to please go support my good friend, Mel Fowler-Green when she debates the so called "marriage protection amendment" at the federalist society, the well-known conservative legal group. Mel has been a vigorous and excellent advocate on behalf of marriage equality and she could use some support as she speaks on behalf of truth, justice, and the American way."

The debate will take place at the Waller Lansden Conference Center, Nashville City Center 511 Union Street, Suite 2700 Nashville, Tennessee . Parking is available for $2 in the Nashville City Center garage off Union Street opposite TPAC.  Please tell the attendant that you are attending the debate. 

TO REGISTERTO REGISTER  Please RSVP E-mail to Ronda Conley at (615) 850-8128 as space is limited.


This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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