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Todd Starnes / August 19, 2015

Tennessee Courts Reverse Ban on ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’

The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts reversed a controversial decision to replace the terms “mother” and “father” with “parent 1” and “parent 2.” “After receiving feedback regarding a recent change made to the permanent parenting plan form, the AOC has reviewed the procedures and determined that, before making any changes to the form, the AOC should consult with the Domestic Relations Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference,” the office said in a statement. ” We have reverted to the previous form and the Committee has been notified.”

The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts reversed a controversial decision to replace the terms “mother” and “father” with “parent 1” and “parent 2.”

“After receiving feedback regarding a recent change made to the permanent parenting plan form, the AOC has reviewed the procedures and determined that, before making any changes to the form, the AOC should consult with the Domestic Relations Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference,” the office said in a statement. “ We have reverted to the previous form and the Committee has been notified.”

“We have reverted to the previous form and the Committee has been notified,” the statement continued.

Shortly after the Supreme Court redefined marriage, the state’s Office of the Courts had revised its documents. A spokesperson for the courts confirmed earlier that the words “Mother” and “Father” had been replaced by the terms “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”

I was alerted to the gender-neutral parenting documents by Kendra Armstrong, a family law attorney in Memphis and one of my longtime readers.

“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?

The court spokesperson did not elaborate on why they felt compelled to change the longtime wording or whether Parent 1 brings home the bacon or whether Parent 2 wears the pants in the relationship.

"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.”

Armstrong said she was incredulous when her paralegal discovered the document changes — shocked that something like this would happen in, of all places, the Bible Belt.

“This is political correctness gone absolutely amuck,” she told me. “It’s just ridiculous.”

It’s not the first time the government has tried to redefine traditional family roles. In 2011 the State Department removed the words mother and father from U.S. passport applications.

The State Department released a statement at the time noting that the changes reflected “improvements” that were being made to “provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.”

Brenda Sprague, the deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, said the changes had nothing to do with 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.

Sounds to me like they’ve got an issue with old-fashioned baby-making — back when it took a mommy and a daddy to make a bundle of joy.

I know, I know. It’s old-school. But no matter how hard the Supreme Court and the cultural revolutionaries try to redefine what God defined — it still takes two to tango — ahem.

As for attorney Kendrick, she said she plans on ignoring the court-mandated changes — no matter the consequences. She plans on replacing all references to “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” with the words “mother” and “father.”

“I am exercising my right to free speech, freedom of religion and I am being a conscientious objector,” she declared. “I refuse to go to court with a parenting plan that refers to Parent 1 and Parent 2 instead of mother and father.”

On a side note — I suggested in my latest book that the true motive behind the gay marriage activists was to deconstruct the traditional American family — hence the ban on mommy and daddy.

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 host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

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