The Oklahoma state House has approved a bill that protects ministers who refuse to marry same-sex couples. The bill now moves on to the state Senate.
According to the Associated Press, if passed, the measure would grant immunity from civil liability to ministers who refuse to marry same-sex couples because such an act would violate their “conscience or religious beliefs.”
As also reported at Truth Revolt, the bill, introduced by Rep. David Brumbaugh (R), was requested after Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by a federal court judge in January of 2014.
Last October, KTUL.com reported that Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) spoke out following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject the appeal of the ruling that struck down Oklahoma’s constitutional provision that defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
“The people of Oklahoma have the right to determine how marriage is defined,” Fallin said. “In 2004, Oklahomans exercised that right, voting by a margin of 3-1 to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
“The will of the people has now been overridden by unelected federal justices, accountable to no one. That is both undemocratic and a violation of states’ rights,” she continued. “Rather than allowing states to make their own policies that reflect the values and views of their residents, federal judges have inserted themselves into a state issue to pursue their own agendas.”
“Today’s decision has been cast by the media as a victory for gay rights. What has been ignored, however, is the right of Oklahomans and Americans in every state, to write their own laws and govern themselves as they see fit,” Gov. Fallin added. “Those rights have once again been trampled by an arrogant, out-of-control federal government that wants to substitute Oklahoma values with Washington, D.C., values.”