UAL747
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Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:51 am

In doing some research for another article I'm working on, I came across this bit of info:

Representative Jason Nelson (R) of the State of Oklahoma House of Representatives has introduced a "shell" bill to amend a current bill that imprisons anyone of the Gospel (which for some reason only targets Christians?) who performs a same-sex ceremony in the state of Oklahoma, regardless of the fact that they are not recognized by the state. We all know that preachers, pastors, and priests perform these on a regular basis,

Here is the current bill with the proposed amendments:

http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/CF...0FULLPCS1%20Jason%20Nelson-SDR.doc

(Only available in word.doc, but here's the important quote)

Quote:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. AMENDATORY 43 O.S. 2001, Section 14, is amended to read as follows:
Section 14. Any minister of the Gospel, or other person authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony within this state, who shall knowingly solemnize the rites of matrimony between persons prohibited by this chapter, from intermarrying shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and imprisonment in the State Penitentiary custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years.

While this guy is just amending this bill that was PASSED in 2001, and that is rarely if ever inforced, the fact that he is amending it, "just in case"- as he stated in an interview, is completely disturbing.

UAL
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Dreadnought
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RE: Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:59 am

Quoting UAL747 (Thread starter):
a current bill that imprisons anyone of the Gospel (which for some reason only targets Christians?)

It doesn't target only Christian clergy, but:

Quoting UAL747 (Thread starter):
Any minister of the Gospel, or other person authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony within this state
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DocLightning
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RE: Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:52 pm

And, no matter how you slice it, it is completely unconstitutional and a violation of the 1st amendment. Go ahead and imprison someone. The courts will knock it down in no time.

It's a pity that introducing such unconstitutional bills is not a felony in and of itself.
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Tugger
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RE: Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:01 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
And, no matter how you slice it, it is completely unconstitutional and a violation of the 1st amendment. Go ahead and imprison someone. The courts will knock it down in no time.

I suspect that the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City has already perform many such ceremonies and so has "knowingly solemnized the rites of matrimony between persons". Go for it, arrest the minister.

Stupid law.

Tugg
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fr8mech
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RE: Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:08 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
And, no matter how you slice it, it is completely unconstitutional and a violation of the 1st amendment. Go ahead and imprison someone.

I'm not sure. The question, I guess, is how the ceremony is performed. If the person officiating says "by the power vested in my by the State of Oklahoma" is he breaking the law since OK does not recognize same-sex marriage?
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UAL747
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RE: Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:32 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
"by the power vested in my by the State of Oklahoma"

Do preachers actually say that, or do they say God? At any rate, the language in the bill does seem to suggest that you could get arrested for solemnizing a marriage in any religious way that is not within the scope of what the state terms as a legally recognized marriage. In that case, since gay marriages are not even recognized by the state, and THUS, are not legal, there is no bearing on the state, and therefore it is just an expression of thought or speech. So this law does INDEED violate free speech, as well as freedom of religion, as you may have the religious view that same-sex marriage is okay.

It's funny, the same author and his senate anti-gay pal, have also denounced the Matthew Shepard Act as a violation against the 1st amendment. They, both Oklahoma Republicans (and note I said Oklahoma Republicans), believe that this constitutes a violation of free speech. Go figure.

Also, it is also a misdemeanor offense if ANY court clerk issues a marriage license to any couples of the same sex in Oklahoma.

UAL

[Edited 2010-03-01 16:33:52]
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UAL747
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RE: Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:18 am

And in other news, Utah is now trying to criminalize miscarriages. "If a woman acts in a reckless manor to the point that her fetus is aborted, then she is in violation of the law." This is almost as bad as the Oklahoma measure before the courts to post information about women who have abortions online. Oh, and if you want to read that document, here it is:

I don't think anyone here has actually seen the real bill.

http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10bills/SB/sb2216_int.rtf


UAL
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DocLightning
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RE: Oklahoma Law Imprisons Clergy For Gay Ceremonies

Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:53 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
I'm not sure. The question, I guess, is how the ceremony is performed. If the person officiating says "by the power vested in my by the State of Oklahoma" is he breaking the law since OK does not recognize same-sex marriage?

It says "solemnizes," which does not mean that he signs a legal marriage into effect.
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