In order to successfully amend the state constitution, a resolution must be introduced and then receive a simple majority of votes in both houses during any given two year session of the Legislature. The same resolution must then be reintroduced and passed by a 2/3 “super-majority” of legislators seated during the successive legislative session. Finally, after passing two sessions of the Legislature the language is placed on the ballot for voter approval during the next gubernatorial race. SJR 127 was passed by both the Tennessee House and Senate in 2009 and received second passage by the required 2 / 3 super-majority in 2011. As a result the language was placed on the November 2014 ballot for voter approval or rejection as Amendment 1. As with any constitutional amendment, the language had to be approved by 50% of those casting a vote in the Governor’s race plus 1.
Amendment 1 was approved on November 4, 2014 by a vote of 729,163 to 657,192.