Some big name evangelicals were in the mid-state Monday night to reinforce the conventional meaning of family.

Early voting begins Wednesday, and Christian conservatives are taking advantage of a final chance to sway a vote.

Christian conservatives are pulling out the big guns, calling on the likes of Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson and Richard Land with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Two different family functions at two different churches expressed two sides over one very divisive amendment.

Those on the no side said changing the state constitution is not only dangerous, it's unnecessary.

"We have a law that defines marriage. There is no need to put this in our constitution," Randy Tarkington, with the Tennessee Equality Project said.

But even the prospect is drawing some evangelical heavy hitters, like Dobson. The group Stand For The Family said it's politics at play.

Its three-stop tour touches states with neck and neck races, and the option to amend the meaning of marriage.

"There's a very important senate race. There's an open seat in the US Senate. That doesn't happen very often," Tom Minnery with Focus On The Family said.

Their opposition was at the Glendale Baptist Church, where a couple hundred people celebrated all families, not just ones with moms and dads.

Partners Debrina and Sherry are mothers of two.

"We're concerned about the same things that others are concerned about - the health, the care, the education of our children," Debrina Dills said.

In a debate that pits church against church, party against party, the answer ultimately rests with voters.

If the yet votes win, the constitution will define marriage between a man and a woman. Of the no votes win, the constitution remains as it is, leaving the marriage debate up for discussion. It does not mean a green light for same sex marriage.

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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