Oklahoma lawmakers fight back against gay marriage ruling
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahomans with the LGBT community celebrated last week after a federal judge ruled Oklahoma’s current ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Scott J. Hamilton, with the Cimarron Alliance Equality Center, says, “That euphoria didn’t last too long.”
Almost immediately, talks of an appeal began and new anti-same sex marriage legislation was filed.
With House Joint Resolution 1076, Rep. Mike Turner wants voters to decide; do they support same-sex marriage in Oklahoma or not?
If not, the bill would change the state’s Constitution.
It’s been 10 years since the majority of Oklahomans voted ‘no’ on the issue but Hamilton thinks the results would be different in 2014.
“At the time, marriage equality was not a reality anywhere in our country,” says Hamilton. “Today, we are seeing a movement like never before.”
Rep. Mike Turner says, “I think Oklahoma’s opinion hasn’t changed much.”
Rep. Turner says the language of this joint resolution was drafted long before last week’s decision because he says he saw it coming.
“I felt that it’d be prudent to be thoughtful and proactive,” says Turner. “That way, we can have the voice of Oklahoma and the voice of Oklahoma citizens be heard and respond to federal intrusion.”
Jason Black Bear and his partner Darren were married on Oklahoma tribal land in October, but were excited for the possibility of their marriage being recognized by the state.
He expected lawmakers to fight back but thinks this joint resolution is a waste of Rep. Turner’s time.
Black Bear says, “Everything he is going to put into trying to get this bill passed could be used doing something better for the people.”
Turner says he does not have plans of moving forward with this bill until the appeal process of last week’s ruling plays out.
Click here for more information on House Joint Resolution 1076.