Oklahoma bill would punish officials for marrying gay couples

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Oklahoma state Capitol, via Kool Cats Photography/Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Kool Cats Photography via Flickry

Oklahoma state Capitol, via Kool Cats Photography/Flickr.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) The "Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act" prohibits taxpayer funds, including government salaries, to be used for any activity that supports same-sex marriage.

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  • Larry

    So the OK legislature wants to penalize officials for following the law and abiding by legal authority granted by US Constitution.

    There goes any pretension of conservatives of following constitutionally mandated authority. If they don’t get their way, they try bullying through base politicking.

    I get the feeling this is on par with “anchor baby” legislation. Something which is proposed to placate constituents, but is so obviously divisive and unconstitutional it has zero chance of making through the legislature.

  • Doc Anthony

    It’s an interesting story. Oklahoma’s fighting spirit is admirable. They DO understand that Obama and the Supremes are about to drive this nation off the spiritual cliff at 100 miles an hour, and they aren’t just sitting around in the back-seat waiting for the big Crash-And-Burn.

    However, it’s not even clear that the proposed bill will even pass the Oklahoma legislature. And even if it does, the federal courts will simply kill it either before or after the Supremes do their final dirt on this country.

    Too little too late, it seems. Cliff approaching.

  • Larry

    It reminds one of how various state legislatures reacted when the Federal Courts told them that people like yourself could not be kept from using public facilities on the basis of their skin color.

    Again well funded bigots looking to buck the constitutionally mandated authority of the federal courts by foul means.

    The bill penalizes state officials for doing their job. Of course it will die in committee. In the unlikely event it even survives a veto, the federal courts will kill it for being so blatantly unconstitutional.

    Why do conservatives hate democracy so much?

  • Doc Anthony

    I think we all “like democracy” quite well, honestly. One person one vote, we all do our little thing on Election Day, voting for (or against) the elected representatives of our choice.

    If you do or don’t like a particular bill being proposed, you simply vote for or against the reps who proposed it, and try to persuade other folks to do the same.

    Therefore all of us, whether Conservative, Liberal, Straight, Gay, Christian, Atheist, we all seem to be on the same page regarding the topic of “democracy.”

    In fact, despite our vast differences (no joke dude!), you and I actually play the democracy game every day, with gusto, in equal measure.

    Otherwise we wouldn’t be plugging away with diametrically opposed commentaries every single day for these goodly RNS readers to peruse! Heh!

  • jim

    amazing how they all wear an American Flag pin in their lapel, but none of them want to abide by the Constitution

  • Lance

    Why should your religious beliefs trump anyone else’s rights? Why do you feel that what you believe is more important than what others believe? If you’re concerned about a “spiritual cliff”, then I suggest you get your own house in order, mind your own affairs, and let others mind theirs. We are not a theocracy. Never have been and never will be. Your beliefs are YOUR beliefs. No one is forcing you to marry anyone. No one is forcing you to be anything you’re not. Why do you feel you can impose your religion on others?

  • Larry

    Evidently you don’t seem to like the idea of equal protection under the law or federal government which are essential to American Democracy. Neither is the notion of prohibiting the establishment of national religion of our 1st Amendment amendable to your views.

    “Might makes right” has never been a guiding concept of the American Democratic system. But it is essential to your view. Forget rule of law. If things don’t go your way, raise a stink. We have civil liberties and a judiciary in place to keep majorities from voting away the rights of political minorities. But evidently some people have a problem with such concepts.

    If a bill or law blatantly violates legal precepts it has no business in existence. We have judicial review to ensure our legislatures don’t overstep the bounds of what they can propose.

    So no, we are not on the same page when it comes to democracy. We are not even reading the same book. You mistake a religious text for a legal one.

  • J.C. Samuelson

    I really want to know what’s wrong with equal dignity, protection, and even – dare I say it – fair treatment under the law. What is it, Doc? Why does the idea of equal right for everyone terrify you?

  • Alan Katz

    Why are you religious people so stubborn when you’re so wrong.

    It is NOT the government’s job to keep us off the “spiritual cliff”. Have you never read the First Amendment to the Constitution? It’s been around since the beginning of this nation and it specifically prevents the government from getting involved in any “spiritual” stuff. It’s not allowed.

    I am absolutely baffled why religions and religious people are involved, at all, in civil marriage. It has NOTHING to do with you. It is not your business. There is no sanctity, no religious component, no spiritual requirement to civil marriage laws.

    If your churches want to meddle so badly in civil law, then I’ve got a deal for you: just give up your tax-exempt status, and you can muck about in civil law as much as you want.

    But until you do, butt the hell out. It’s not your fight. It’s not a religious battle. it’s a Civil Rights issue under The United States Constitution.

    Don’t like that – go join the damned Taliban – they agree with your actions.But sorry, the rest of us have no interest whatsoever in instituting Christian Sharia Law.

  • Alan Katz

    You don’t even understand America, no wonder you’re so off-the-rails about something that doesn’t concern you – or your insistence that government save its people from the “spiritual cliff”, you know, like ISIS and The Taliban.

    We are not a democracy, we have never been a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic, and that Constitution (and the Bill of Rights) overrules every vote, whether by legislatures or the electorate.

    This is how our Founders designed this nation – because they were very wise, and knew there would come times when people like you would want to hijack the Law to force your religious beliefs on others, and to deny Fundamental Rights to people you don’t like.

    That’s why they built a Republic and not a democracy: to prevent tyranny by people like you.

  • Greg

    I just read today that South Carolina has begun a process to amend the Constitution of the US, to establish the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, due to the courts stepping in and mandating they “marry” gay people. They are using the state convention approach. It will be interesting to see how much support it gets. They will need two thirds of the states to approve it through their legislatures.

  • Ben in oakland

    I find it interesting, too, Greg. but not for the reasons or the hopes that you have.

    They didn’t try to do that when Brown v. BOE was decided, or when the civil rights act was passed. They were still able to look down on black people. They just couldn’t use the law to do it.

    They haven’t tried to use that process to make this country the Christian nation they erroneously claim it is. Apparently, the prospect of millions of people burning in hell forever because they didn’t get the message about how god loves them doesn’t phase them in the slightest.

    They didn’t employ the process for making abortion illegal, despite their claims about the murders of millions of innocent babies. Well, someone else’s babies. Except for Desjarlais. And the anti-abortion industry, who would have to mind their own business, or go out and get real jobs.

    But for gay people being treated as those so-called Christians would like to be treated, for being able to protect their lives, loves, children,. families, faith, and assets with the civil, non-faith-based institution known as CIVIL MARRIAGE– well, for THAT, they are willing to go all the way.

    It just goes to show you how deeply, deeply engrained homohatred is, whether given some sort of bogus respectability by calling it “sincere religious belief’, or admitted for what it so clearly is.

    Quoting our favorite faith based homophobe and religious bigot: “Sad”.

  • Greg

    Hi Ben. You are correct; the last time the US Constitution was amended by this means was for the 21st Amendment (to repeal Prohibition). The issue at present, though, is that States Rights are being usurped by Federal Judges, and the States must do all they can to correct that flippant injustice. That is why gay rights advocates should merely take their gains, and move to the states that have gay marriage, rather than trying to force conservative states to act against the will of their citizens. You must remember that Freedom of Religion is a constitutional right.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Why be so nice about these fools committing an act of SEDITION against the United States Constitution?

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Doc, you’re free to leave these United States if you hate our country and our Constitution that much. It seems to me Russia is your homophobic paradise.

  • CarrotCakeMan

    Americans are increasingly aware that when anti-gays shriek, “freedom of religion,” they mean they feel they deserve the “freedom” to force their anti-gay political agenda onto Americans.

  • Fran


    I liked Diana Ross and the Supremes myself!

  • Fran


    However, I am not crazy about man’s politics!!

    And the last world power before God’s kingdom or heavenly replaces ALL of man’s governments (the toes and the feet of the image Daniel saw in a vision according to chapter 2 of the same book) is the Anglo-American or U.S./Great Britain world power, in existence since World War I.

    You are right on point about the U.S. government (cliff approaching); and its future does not look too bright (Daniel 2:44).

    That’s why my support will remain with God’s kingdom or heavenly government instead.

  • Fran


    Since my post about Diana Ross neglected to include additional thoughts which didn’t, for some reason, show up, here they are!!!!

  • Larry

    Greg, those gains came about by directly opposing the blatantly discriminatory and irrational bans on gay marriage. Why would marriage equality supporters drop doing something which is wildly successful? Especially since people like yourself lack any rational and secular purpose behind such bans. You have already lost, now you are just being sore about it.

    The 14th Amendment exists to keep states from enacting discriminatory legislation. States lost the right to be the final arbiter of civil liberties in the late 1860’s. This means “states rights” arguments will always be subordinate to the federal government and its judiciary on such subjects.

    Plus your freedom of religion argument is complete bullcrap. Free exercise of religion never entitled one to intentionally harm others. Discrimination is a harmful act and considered a civil tort and in many places criminal act against the discriminated party. Plus religious freedom works against you here., Enacting laws which lack rational and secular purpose such as gay marriage bans runs afoul of the Establishment Clause. It is legislated religious belief.