(RNS) Oklahoma bill would abolish state’s role in granting marriage licenses, leave it w/clergy

In an effort to block the state’s involvement with…[same-sex] marriage, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday (March 10) to abolish marriage licenses in the state.

The legislation, authored by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, amends language in the state law that governs the responsibilities of court clerks. All references to marriage licenses were removed.

Russ said the intent of the bill is to protect court clerks caught between the federal and state governments. A federal appeals court overturned Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage last year. Russ, like many Republican legislators in the state, including Gov. Mary Fallin, believes the federal government overstepped its constitutional authority on this issue.

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6 comments on “(RNS) Oklahoma bill would abolish state’s role in granting marriage licenses, leave it w/clergy

  1. Ad Orientem says:

    YES! YES!! YES!!!

    I have been arguing for something along this line since at least the early 2000’s. (And taking a lot of flack for it.) Just set up some kind of system so people can register their domestic arrangements for legal purposes and get the government out of the marriage business. Leave marriage as a solely religious matter.

  2. Ralph says:

    I also see marriage as a solely religious matter. The confusion tactics of social liberalism, and the devil, try to use the same word to denote both Holy Matrimony, and the civil-legal agreement that folks make to each other. They are of course entirely different.

  3. Marie Blocher says:

    In many countries, the government only records civil unions. It is up to the churches to perform marriage ceremonies. We unfortunately inherited our system from the Church of England, which as an established religion was an arm of the government.

  4. Br. Michael says:

    Well I am predicting that the government will have to get out of the marriage business altogether. I have been saying that same sex marriage does not expand marriage, it ends it. It ends it because if marriage is not based on two sexes, then it is not based on anything and if the “equal protection” clause requires same sex arrangements then it requires the state, if they recognize any, to recognize all arrangements because, not being based on anything, there is no basis for any distinction among them. Given a choice between all or none the states will opt for none.

    The states will most likely grandfather in existing arrangements and not recognize any new ones. In one sense it’s a matter of economics as traditional marriage brought economic benefits to spouses. The states won’t be able to afford extending those benefiters to multiple partnerships.

    So you can still get married in a Church, Synagogue or Mosque, but that marriage won’t have any legal standing or confer any benefits recognized at law, because the state will not have any law regarding marriage. The law will only recognize people as being single.

  5. MichaelA says:

    Marriage is not solely a religious matter and never has been (particularly not in the Bible).

    On the practical side, this will also hasten the destruction of marriage because it puts the very definition of marriage in the hands of churches many of whom will be liberal. The definition of marriage in effect goes to the lowest bidder.

    In Oklahama at least, it appears that the liberals have won everything they were after. Here in Australia, orthodox Christians are fighting hard and so far we have marriage in the hands of the state, and kept it as it should be – a lifetime union between a man and a woman.

  6. Br. Michael says:

    That’s right. And what happens when a Church marries three people? Will the state recognize that legally? I think not and that’s why I predict that government will abandon marriage as a legal institution. They will treat everyone as single. What will be the ramifications of that? I don’t know, but they won’t be good.