Tennessee Office of Courts Mulls Changing Mother, Father to Parent 1, 2


The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts, after receiving feedback regarding a recent change to the permanent parenting plan form, will consult with the Domestic Relations Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference concerning a controversial decision to replace the terms "mother" and "father" with "Parent 1" and "Parent 2." Fox News' Todd Starnes writes that after the Supreme Court redefined marriage, the state's Office of the Courts had revised its documents.

Starnes says he was alerted to the gender-neutral documents by Kendra Armstrong, a family law attorney in Memphis.

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

Armstrong said she was incredulous that something like this would happen in the Bible Belt. But it's not the first time the government has recategorized traditional family roles; the State Department removed the words mother and father from the US passport applications. The State Department explained that when this change occurred, it was making improvements to "provide a gender neutral description of a child's parents and in recognition of different types of families."

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, Brenda Sprague, said the changes were not made because of political correctness.

"We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago," she said.

Starnes asks why the court felt compelled to change the long-standing wording:

"It's absolutely ludicrous to make the term mother and father obsolete," Armstrong told me. "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. This is political correctness gone absolutely amok. It's just ridiculous."

Perhaps, says Starnes, the Supreme Court has an issue with "old-fashioned baby-making".

Attorney Armstrong has said that she will change all references to Parent 1 and Parent 2 to the words mother and father on any form in her office. She says she is exercising her right to free speech and her freedom of religion rights. She is going to be a conscientious objector and refuse to go into court with a parenting plan that refers to Parent 1 and Parent 2 and not mother and father. As for Starnes, he said:

"I reckon it's only a matter of time before Tennessee completely conforms to the demands of the gender-neutral crowd and begins referring to children as "Thing One" and "Thing Two."

Todd Starnes is the radio host of "Fox News and Commentary." His latest book is God Less America: Real Stories from the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.

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