Todd Russ, an Oklahoma State Representative, has introduced House Bill 1125, which would end marriage licenses in the state.
The Representative filed the bill to specifically target same sex marriage, and according to NewsOK:
The Cordell Republican says he wants to protect court clerks from having to issue licenses to same-sex couples. He doesn’t want these workers put in the position of having to condone or facilitate same-sex marriage.
I guess pushing some paperwork around a desk and filing it is some sort of political thing now. But, if Russ gets his way, the only way to file for a marriage ‘certificate’ would be to get it signed by a religious official, then take it to the clerk’s office.
Disturbingly, Americans United points out that the verbiage of the bill is a little more specific than ‘religious official’:
The ability to sign off on a marriage license would belong to “…an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi.”
So, not religious officials, Christian and Jewish religious officials. And doesn’t ‘or a rabbi’ just look thrown in there as an afterthought? When asked about others who wouldn’t have a religious official, or the ‘right’ flavor of religious official, to sign the certificate, Russ offered these kind words:
“They don’t have a spiritual basis for a marriage and don’t want to have a clergy member or a priest or someone involved in the spiritual aspect, then they can file an affidavit of common-law marriage.”
It appears that’s hardly any kind of solution, as Americans United again reports:
The status of common-law marriages in Oklahoma is shaky at best. If Russ’ bill passes, couples who wish to choose a non-religious celebrant to solemnize their marriage will be able to do so, but their unions could be attacked as lacking legal status, and the rights that accompany that status would be in jeopardy.
So a common law marriage solution is really just a faux solution that doesn’t really solve anything. Ironic is the fact that there are many churches performing same sex marriages, so the bill solves nothing when it comes to same sex marriage recognition. In taking a swing at those scary gays, Russ hits non-believers, the non-religious, Muslims, Wiccans, Pagans, and anyone else who doesn’t fall neatly into the Christian or Jewish box.
At any rate, this bill would never be upheld as legal should it pass. The only question will be, if House Bill 1125 does pass, how much in legal fees will it cost Oklahoma taxpayers?
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