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Re: “Oklahoma takes the lead in gay discrimination; legislator wants businesses to 'own' it

As much as I abhor the reason behind Rep. Todd's bill, if it becomes law, it won't hinder same sex marriage in Oklahoma at all. In fact, after an amendment, it turned into a de facto acceptance of same sex marriage as legal in Oklahoma.

It originally stated that any 18-year-old not disqualified by other reasons is capable of contracting to marry "a person of the opposite sex". But that qualifier was struck out in amendment, leaving it simply that any 18-year-old is capable of contracting to marry. Period.

Under this bill, any person ordained by a religious organization and who registers with the state is qualified to perform a ceremony and issue a marriage certificate. There are already a number of progressive churches across the state that support same-sex marriages.

But even more (and sillier), this means anyone who registers online with the Universal Life Church to be ordained to perform a ceremony can do it, and Oklahoma has to register them. ALSO, the bill was amended to allow judges to perform ceremonies. So in the end, nothing in this bill is blocking same sex marriage ceremonies.

The stupidity is that the court clerks will be relieved of issuing marriage licenses, which give permission to have the ceremony, but the "certificates" issued by the ministers to the married couples will still have to be published by the court clerks after the weddings in order for them to be legal. So it's not like the clerks aren't going to touch them anyway.

According to Russ, once the certificates are published, the marriages are legalized by the state. He seems to think that once they are legal, they will be recognized through all the usual federal channels, just as they were before. No one has yet brought up a reason that he's wrong on that one.

There are still problems caused by this bill that could make it hang up and die before it reaches the governor's desk. But if it is passed into law, same sex marriage will be alive and unhindered in Oklahoma.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by okiedem on 03/15/2015 at 12:17 AM


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