John M. Becker

Oklahoma House Votes to Stop All Marriages Because Gays

Filed By John M. Becker | March 11, 2015 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: civil marriage, gay marriage, marriage equality, Oklahoma, same-sex marriage, special rights

oklahoma-map.jpgThe Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would stop the state from issuing marriage licenses altogether rather than allow same-gender couples to obtain them, Tulsa World reports:

Oklahoma would stop issuing marriage licenses under legislation passed Tuesday afternoon by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1125, by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, would instead require those officiating marriage ceremonies to file after-the-fact "certificates of marriage" with court clerks' offices. Alternatively, couples could file affidavits of common law marriage.

Russ said his bill is intended to "protect" county court clerks who do not want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "This takes them out of the trap," he said.

In other words, Russ wants to create a loophole so that anti-LGBT public servants wouldn't have to fulfill their duties if those duties include serving LGBT people. Same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in Oklahoma since October 2014, when the Supreme Court allowed a pro-marriage equality ruling from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to stand.

Yesterday's vote was 67-24, with 10 members not voting. HB 1125 now heads to the Oklahoma Senate.


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