Through the courts, same-sex marriage has become legal in Oklahoma, and there’s been a ton of backlash. Not from people, from legislators. The legislative session started on Feb. 2nd, and they’ve been trying to push bills through the committees. Some are already through and will be heard.
This isn’t my writing, but I’m posting it here to help the world know how screwed up the happenings right now are.
House Bill 1125 would strip county court clerks of their duty of issuing marriage licenses. It would allow clergy to issue marriage “certificates,” but any couple not married during a religious ceremony could have only a “common-law” marriage. Rep. Todd Russ of District 55 introduced the bill under the guise of protecting elected officials’ religious freedoms. The bill has passed out of committee and will be heard by the full House.
House Bill 1007, put forth by Rep. David Brumbaugh, targets same-sex couples wishing to be married and seeks to protect clergy persons who do not wish to or cannot perform weddings for same-sex couples. Under present Oklahoma law, only clergy persons willing and able to perform same-sex weddings are allowed to. Under existing law, no one is forced to perform same-sex weddings. The bill has already passed the full House and is now before the Senate.
House Bill 2215 was filed by Rep. Mike Ritze. If the bill became law, it would require marriage-license applicants to provide medical histories regarding whether they have had gender-reassignment surgery. This would be a violation of privacy and is nothing more than an attempt to single out transgender individuals. It is intrusive and violates all acceptable social standards. It is in the House Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee.
House Bill 1598, the Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act by Rep. Sally Kern, would codify the right to obtain certain counseling or conversion therapy; prevent certain infringement by the state; and protect mental health providers who engage in sexual-orientation change efforts with a child. It is in the House Children, Youth and Family Services Committee.
House Bill 1599, the Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act by Rep. Sally Kern, would prohibit the use of public funds for any activity licensing or supporting same-sex marriage and would prohibit public employees from recognizing same-sex marriage licenses. It has passed out of committee and is before the full House.
Senate Bill 440, the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Joseph Silk, says that no individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex, gender or sexual orientation: 1. provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges; 2. provide counseling, adoption, foster care, and other social services; 3. provide employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement; 4. solemnize any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement; or 5. treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement as valid. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 724 by Sen. Joseph Silk would change the nature of legally recognized marriages in Oklahoma by calling them covenants and not marriages and restricting them to male and female couples. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 478, by Sen. Corey Brooks, the Protection of Religious Freedom in the Sanctity of Marriage Act of 2015, would establish a religious exemption for any elected official or government employee or private business that does not want to issue a marriage license, officiate or solemnize a marriage, or provide business services to a individuals they do not agree with because of individual religious views and would exempt them from lawsuits or disciplinary action. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 669 by Sen. Nathan Dahm, would limit marriage to male and female couples and would establish a “civil declaration of marriage” that would have the same effect as a marriage license. Only the parties to the marriage or an attorney could draft the declaration. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 788 by Sen. Dan Newberry says no judge or religious officiant would be required to perform a marriage that violates his or her religious beliefs. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 805, the Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act, by Sen. Josh Breecheen, would make it illegal for a state official to issue or recognize a marriage license to a same-sex couple or for any public funds be used to issue a marriage license. The bill also declares that no one could challenge it in court. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 733, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, would require a blood test from a physician to be presented to the court clerk at the time of application for a license showing that neither applicant has a communicable or infectious disease or, if infected, the disease is not in a communicable stage at the time. Under this bill, HIV-positive people would not be allowed to marry. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.