Oklahoma may be on its way to becoming one of the most libertarian states in the country.
Why? Here’s the breakdown: Rep. Todd Russ (R-Cordell) of the Oklahoma State Legislature proposed legislation months ago that would essentially get the state out of the business of issuing marriage licenses. So, under this plan, it would not matter if you are for or against gay marriage anymore because the state would be largely out of approving marriages.
The plan, which borders the libertarian idea of getting rid of state-approved marriages altogether, would keep county court clerks in the state from having to issue marriage licenses. Therefore, the officiant of the marriage will decide the legality of the marriage, rather than the state.
Individuals who want to marry will instead file ‘certificates of marriage’ to the court clerk after having the marriage officiated by a religious clergy member or a judge.
Russ’ plan comes just as the US Supreme Court is expected to strike down state marriage amendments which prohibit gay marriages. Under his plan, marriage will be out of the state’s hand, allowing for gay marriages and straight marriages to be treated equally under the law.
Also, the language of the ‘certificates of marriage’ completely excludes gender roles, not even referring to wives, husbands, brides or grooms.
With that, one would assume that progressives would be on board with this proposal, which just passed the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, because it puts marriage in the hands of the individuals involved in the marriage. It’s a win for both sides, right?
The Huffington Post went totally off the deep-end with their claim that Russ’ proposal is “religious fascism” because it leaves marriages up to religious clergy, therefore gays will never be able to get married.
However, this is so blatantly false, as marriages in the state could still be officiated by a judge as well. And who says religious clergy members will not marry gay couples? Protestant sects do in fact officiate gay marriages and some have openly gay clergy members.
And then there are the gay groups that are against the legislation because it will create “confusion,” an even bigger lie.
Troy Stevenson, the executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, a gay-rights group, told The Oklahoman that the proposal would put couples at risk of being denied federal rights and protections.
But, there is absolutely no reason given as to why these Oklahoma ‘certificates of marriage’ would not be recognized by other states or the federal government.
The Supreme Court is set to rule on states’ constitutional bans on gay marriage within the next couple of months.