Executive Director – Freedom Oklahoma
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The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed HB 1007 today entitled: Marriage; prohibiting requirement of religious official to solemnize a marriage that violates their conscience or religious beliefs – by a margin of 88 to 7. Some media coverage has portrayed this as a piece of legislation that the LGBT community opposes. While there are multiple discriminatory bills before the current legislature, on its merits, this is not one of them. Freedom Oklahoma is neutral on the need for the legislation, and supportive of its intent.
In its current form this legislation is simply a reaffirmation of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution – giving clergy the freedom to practice their faith as they see fit. Advocates for the freedom to marry have always stood for the right of clergy members to be protected in the tenants of their faith tradition. In that vein we wholeheartedly support the spirit of this bill. We thank those in the House of Representatives, who pointed out the unnecessary nature of the legislation, but want to affirm our continued belief that freedom means freedom for everyone.
The following comment can be attributed to Freedom Oklahoma executive director – Troy Stevenson:
“We want to make this crystal clear: If clergy – of any faith – were forced to preform any marriage that was in violation of their beliefs, we would be the first to stand up for their freedom of religion. The LGBT community has never asked for, nor wanted, special treatment – just the same freedoms promised to all Americans. It is our firm belief that freedom means freedom for everyone.”