The Oklahoma GOP-led legislature has passed a bill that takes away that state’s authority to determine the legality of marriage and given it to the clergy. In a state where ignorance is a tradition and privatized entities make many of the rules, this kind of thing has almost come to be expected.
The measure was introduced by State Rep. Todd Russ, who claims the move was intended to bypass the Federal Government’s “disregard for our 10thAmendment and individual states’ liberties.”
Unfortunately for Russ and the body of idiocy that is the Oklahoma GOP, this little thing called the 14th amendment assures that rights afforded a US citizen by the federal government can’t be superseded by individual state law; otherwise abortion would be illegal in anything even resembling Mississippi. That pesky 14th amendment makes abolishing the 1st amendment’s intended separation of church and state ever so unconstitutional.
Ultimately what the bill does is remove the state from marriage licensing altogether, leaving the clergy to decide what constitutes a legal marriage. Oklahoma court clerks would file the new “marriage certificates,” indicating that the religion-sanctioned marriage is of state record.
An unfortunate side-effect for the Christian Right would be that “clergy” covers a wide range of people. In trying to put the sanctity of marriage question in the hands of the Christian clergy, effectively outlawing same-sex marriage, Oklahoma GOPers have dropped a bomb on themselves that they are far too stupid to see.
Certainly the LGBT crowd would simply seek out clergy sympathetic to their cause, or in the worst case scenario, form their own church. The Church Of Happy Rainbows could ordain whoever it likes, and sanction all the same-sex marriages it desires.
John Paul Brammer of Blue Nation review put it into perfect perspective, writing:
…Please join me in Oklahoma where I plan to find a clergy member who agrees with polygamy. I will be getting lawfully married to all of my friends and some strangers too.
Because why not?
Perfect. While this ridiculous bill has little chance of making its way to the law books, even in Oklahoma, it’s always fun when the GOPers give us new material to poke fun at them for.