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Oklahoma Limits Marriage to Those of Faith

The Oklahoma State House approved a radical bill that changes who can perform marriage ceremonies. The bill would limit the ability of people to marry, based upon their religious faith – or lack thereof.

The bill was approved by the Republican majority. The bill would also limit who could perform marriage ceremonies. Traditionally, sea captains, certain city officials such as a mayor, and judges could bind a couple together in matrimony. The new law would limit the ability to perform marriage ceremonies strictly to members of the clergy.

According to reports, the legislation was introduced by Representative Todd Russ and is backed by fellow State Representative Dennis Johnson. The purpose of the bill is to separate the state from the process of issuing marriage licenses.

Marriage was not an institution of the state,” Johnson said. “Marriage is an institution of God and the state should have nothing to do with the process.”

Some reports claim that the wording of the bill would limit the ability to perform marriage ceremonies only to those of the Christian and Jewish faiths.

Those who do not like the legislation, according to Russ, should “go file for a common law marriage.”

Common law marriages are performed in less than a dozen states stated Camara Barbacena. Although recognized in most states who do not allow for common law marriages to be contracted, Oklahoma does not recognize common law marriages that were said to be contracted within the state.

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