Executive Director – Freedom Oklahoma
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Yesterday, the Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee voted to release two pieces of anti-LGBT legislation with the intent of creating a barrier to the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian Oklahomans:
Representative Russ’s HB 1125 – which would do away with the state’s ability to issue marriage licenses. Replacing it with an overly complicated and chaotic application process. That would sometimes relegate couples – both gay and straight – to the status of common law marriage.
Representative Sally Kern’s HB 1599 – The “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act.” A heavily contentious bill that was deemed – by members of both parties – to have “constitutional concerns.” This piece of legislation sets up a constitutional crisis whereby any state employee who obeys the law, and recognizes the freedom to marry for all Oklahomans, would be terminated from their job. Meaning if they do their job, they will lose their job.
The following statement can be attributed to Freedom Oklahoma executive director, Troy Stevenson:
“In the same week that we find out that the State of Oklahoma is facing a budget deficit of over $600 million, our lawmakers are wasting time – and taxpayer money – pushing a vindictive agenda against LGBT Oklahomans. The battle for the freedom to marry was long and hard-fought, but it is over, it is decided, and it is high time we addressed the real crisis facing our state. Legislators on both sides of this issue acknowledged at the committee hearing, that these pieces of legislation do not pass constitutional muster. And will trigger costly litigation that Oklahoma cannot afford and will lose. This is a futile effort to hurt Oklahomans and It is time we called this what it is – a mean-spirited distraction from the real problems facing our state.”