Monday, February 01, 2010


Oklahoma lawmaker attacks marriage and clergy's role in 'solemnizing' it

House Bill 3408, by Jason Nelson:


2nd Session of the 52nd Legislature (2010)

HOUSE BILL 3408 By: Nelson... See More


An Act relating to marriage; amending 43 O.S. 2001, Section 14, which relates to penalties for solemnizing unlawful marriages; clarifying language; and providing an effective date.

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.

SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2010.


Actually this is a miscegenation statute from 1910 that is still on the books. Oklahoma has never cleared off all of the vestiges of dualism in its laws. Its intent was to make it a crime to marry a Negro to a White or Indian.

So what is he doing with it now?

If his ilk keep pushing their "victories" over the line even Oklahomans will eventually turn on them.

Can't wait to see what this is up to.
This is simply an unconstitutional attack on freedom of religion.

And a solemn return to religious war.

(In a whispered aside: "in this case, between protestants.")
I agree with Feodor, mirabile dictu. The State can refuse to recognize (i.e. grant the legal rights associated with) a marriage ceremony, but they cannot prohibit the religious ceremony itself.
I wonder if they're next going to pass a law forbidding the gays from taking communion.

I wonder why they don't just have the balls to propose a law stating clearly and succinctly: "gay people should have no human rights whatsoever." since that's clearly what they're actually after.

There's some AFA bigwig that just said we should all be imprisoned, though, so I guess this measure is at least better than that.

But no, in case you're wondering, it isn't about hate.
This pricked my old legislative mind set.

Well the intent of this bill, which most probably a "shell bill" anyway is unclear. It might be leading to an attack on those performing underage marriages within some off the wall sects "affiliated" with the LDS for example.

As of today this section has not been cited in any SCOTSOO case law, so it has never been "inacted" in practice.

The current Law on Marriage Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes may be found here:
I don't think there's any rason to doubt that it's meant to discourage ministers from memorialing gay relationships.

That has no chance of making it into law, does it?
Or, on reading further, they're just trying to update an old miscegenation law, as Dr L said, is that right? The law is still on the books (but unenforced, I'm assuming)??
As i said, I see no reason not to think this is a setup to intimidate and punish ministers who memorial gay relationships.

And in this state right now, passage of this bill is entirely possible, and I don't think our moderate-Dem but Southern Baptist governor would veto it.

With any luck, it won't get to, or out of, committee.
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