Bill that would allow Ten Commandments back at Oklahoma Capitol passes Senate committee
OKLAHOMA CITY – A controversial bill that would pave the way for historical statues on public grounds has passed another hurdle.
In 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments Monument that was housed at the Oklahoma State Capitol violated the Constitution. That decision led to the monument being removed from the Capitol grounds.
Last year, Oklahoma voters shot down a state question that would have allowed the Ten Commandments to move back to the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.
State Question 790 would have removed a part of the Oklahoma Constitution that prohibits the use of state resources for religious purposes.
Despite voters rejecting the question, some Oklahoma lawmakers continue to work to bring the monument back to the Capitol.
House Bill 2177 would allow cities, schools and muncipalities to display ‘historical documents, monuments and writings’ in public buildings and on public grounds.
The documents that could be displayed include the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, Oklahoma Constitution and the Ten Commandments.
The bill, which was authored by Rep. John Bennett and Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, recently passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill’s language even states that if the constitutionality of the bill or a monument is challenged in court, the Oklahoma attorney general is authorized to “prepare and present a legal defense of the display.”
Already, the Universal Society of Hinduism announced that they will attempt to place monuments of ancient Sanskrit scripture across Oklahoma if the measure becomes law.