Bil Browning

Three Oklahoma Lawmakers Go Anti-Gay Crazy

Filed By Bil Browning | January 23, 2015 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: anti-gay bigots, David Brumbaugh, Oklahoma, Oklahoma representatives, Sally Kern, Todd Russ

douchebag-sensors-stupid-meme.jpgAs state legislatures nationwide reconvene after the elections, LGBT people should prepare for another onslaught of animus. Oklahoma lawmakers, however, took an early jump into anti-gay bigotry.

Republican representative Sally Kern, best known for her claims that gay rights is a bigger threat to America than terrorism, is back with three doozies that covers all the recent rightwing attempts to roll back LGBT rights.

House Bill 1599 is dubbed the "Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act." House Bill 1598 is called the "Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act." A third measure would allow businesses to refuse to provide services to the gay community, among others.
House Bill 1599 says that no taxpayer funds or governmental salaries can be used for the licensing or support of same-sex marriage.

"No employee of this state and no employee of any local governmental entity shall officially recognize, grant or enforce a same-sex marriage license and continue to receive a salary, pension or other employee benefit at the expense of taxpayers of this state," the measure says. "No taxes or public funds of this state shall be spent enforcing any court order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license."

The measure directs state courts to dismiss any challenge to the measure and award costs and attorney fees to the defendant. A judge who violates the act shall be removed from office, according to the bill.
Kern's House Bill 1598 would allow parents to seek counseling and therapy to change a gay child's sexual orientation without interference from the state.

"The people of this state have the right to seek and obtain counseling or conversion therapy from a mental health provider in order to control or end any unwanted sexual attraction, and no state agency shall infringe upon that right," the bill says. "Parents may obtain such counseling or therapy for their children under eighteen (18) years of age without interference by the state."

But Republican representative Todd Russ, also a Pentecostal preacher, wants to take things one step further. He's still upset that a federal court found the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Same-sex marriages have been legal since last October. He wants to ban marriage licenses altogether!

Marriage licenses would become a thing of the past in Oklahoma under a bill filed by state Rep. Todd Russ.

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.

Under his plan, a religious official would sign a couple's marriage certificate, which would then be filed with the clerk. Marriages would no longer be performed by judges. If a couple did not have a religious official to preside over their wedding, they could file an affidavit of common law marriage.
"There's a lot of constituents and people across the state who are not through pushing back on the federal government for the slam down they've given us with Supreme Court rulings," he said.
He called his House Bill 1125 an example of "conscience legislation," meant to allow people to exercise their religious values in good conscience. He compared it to Hobby Lobby's case against the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

Republican Representative David Brumbaugh also has his knickers in a twist over same-sex marriage.

Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, has also filed legislation concerning same-sex marriage. His bill seeks to prevent religious officials from having to "solemnize or recognize any marriage that violates the official's conscience or religious beliefs."

He said pastors came to him concerned that if they didn't officiate same-sex marriages, their churches could lose tax-exempt status.

Toby Jenkins, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality, said that between Oct. 6 and mid-December, his group has documented 3,165 same-sex marriages in 23 counties.

He expressed disappointment with the two bills involving same-sex marriage.
"For 23 years, at least one anti-gay bill has been introduced every session. I was so hoping 2015 would be different."

Good luck with that. You'll need it. There's always 2016.

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