This story reports about a conservative Oklahoma politician, an Assemblies of God pastor, who has introduced a bill that would end government marriage licenses. Marriages certificates would be signed by a religious official and then filed with the county clerk. For nonreligious marriages, people would file affidavits of common law marriage.
Here are more details:
The Cordell Republican says he wants to protect court clerks from having to issue licenses to same-sex couples. He doesn’t want these workers put in the position of having to condone or facilitate same-sex marriage.
Under his plan, a religious official would sign a couple’s marriage certificate, which would then be filed with the clerk. Marriages would no longer be performed by judges. If a couple did not have a religious official to preside over their wedding, they could file an affidavit of common law marriage.
“Marriages are not supposed to be a government thing anyway,” he said Wednesday.
Russ, a credentialed Assemblies of God minister, is upset with rulings that have supported same-sex marriage.
“There’s a lot of constituents and people across the state who are not through pushing back on the federal government for the slam down they’ve given us with Supreme Court rulings,” he said.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Oklahoma in October. That’s when the high court declined to review a federal court decision striking down a voter-approved ban on the practice.
My quick thoughts: this proposal does not “get government out of the marriage business.” Marriages must still be filed with the government. Would this plan help protect marriage as an institution or not? I don’t know if it would have much effect at all except on county clerks.
Any thoughts from M* readers?