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‘Takes Them Out Of The Trap’: Anti-Gay Lawmaker’s Bill Eliminating Marriage Licenses Passes House

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An Oklahoma State Rep.’s bill, which “protects” clerks and judges from having to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, just passed the House.

Todd Russ says that “Oklahoma voted overwhelmingly against same-sex marriage, and yet the Supreme Court stuck it down our throats.” The Oklahoma State Representative thinks there are many “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,” and he’s one of them. 

“Marriages are not supposed to be a government thing,” Russ says, and now he’s one step closer to making that dream a reality.

Rep. Russ’ bill, HB 1125, removed the state government entirely from issuing marriage licenses or officiating at weddings. Instead, authorized officiants would provide the state with a marriage certificate, essentially a notice that a marriage was created.

“This takes them out of the trap,” he told Tulsa World.

The state’s only obligation at that point would be to record the certificate, eliminating the need for anti-gay clerks and judges to be faced with issuing licenses to same-sex couples or officiating at their weddings.

HB 1125 passed Tuesday by a huge margin, 67-24, and now heads to the Senate.

Some believe the bill, should it become law, would make it easier for minors to marry, as clerks would no longer be able to require spouses to show proof of age. It also could make incest and polygamy easier.

But Rep. Russ is proud his legislation puts marriage back where he believes it belongs.

“The point of my legislation is to take the state out of the process and leave marriage in the hands of the clergy,” Rep. Russ said. “Marriage was historically a religious covenant first and a government-recognized contract second. Under my bill, the state is not allowing or disallowing same-sex marriage. It is simply leaving it up to the clergy.”

Rep. Russ did not address the needs of those who desire a civil ceremony. 

If the Senate passes the bill, only ‘an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination’ would be allowed to issue ‘certificates of marriage’ after presiding over a ceremony,” Raw Story notes.

On his campaign website, Rep. Russ promises to “stand for Godly values and Godly leadership in government.”

“We as citizens have let government take prayer out of our schools, take the Ten Commandments out of our capitols, and they continue to tell us as Christians to be quiet about our fundamental beliefs,” Russ claims. “Our Christian values are the very things that have made our state and nation so great. We as rural Oklahomans greatly influence the standards of our nation because we are part of the Bible Belt.”

 

Previously on Todd Russ:

Sally Kern’s Bill Banning State Employees From Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Advances

Oklahoma Bill Would Require All Marriage Licenses To Be Issued By Religious Clergy

 

Image via Facebook
Hat tip: Towleroad

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CHURCH POLITICIZING RELIGION

‘I Dare You to Deny Me Communion’: 60 Democrats Blast Bishops for Move to Punish Biden by ‘Weaponizing’ Eucharist

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They were warned.

Before their three-day meeting that culminated Friday with a vote to move toward denying America’s second Catholic President, Joe Biden, communion over his stance of supporting a woman’s right to choose an abortion, the Vatican told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to not politicize communion or other sacraments.

They did it anyway, and now powerful Democrats – and many others – are furious.

“Next time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion,” U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat of California, and a Catholic, with a massive 1.6 million followers on Twitter, threatened the Bishops.

His comments were in response to Friday’s news of the USCCB’s politically-motivated decision, and in response to SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile, who asked if other Catholics will be denied communion over their “sins.” Signorile pointed to Newt Gingrich, whose history includes adultery, divorce, and re-marriage. Gingrich’s wife was President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the Vatican.

Another California Democrat, Rep. Jared Huffman, suggested the church should lose its tax-exempt status.

Lieu and Huffman were far from the only Democratic lawmakers to speak out against the USCCB’s move toward denying communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

“We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents,” 60 House Democrats said in a three-page “Statement of Principles” letter released Friday afternoon.

“The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of abortion is contradictory.”

And they carefully noted the hypocrisy of the Bishops, who have never even suggested denying communion to Republican lawmakers who support the death penalty or engage if the separation of families at the border and caging of children.

“No elected officials have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist as they support and have supported policies contrary to the Church teachings, including supporting the death penalty, separating migrant children from their parents, denying asylum to those seeking safety in the United States, and denying rights and dignity to immigrants.”

Some other prominent House Democrats who signed on to the letter include Cheri Bustos, Joaquin Castro, Gerry Connolly, Rosa DeLauro, Debbie Dingell, Ruben Gallego, Marie Newman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jackie Speier.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

US Catholic Bishops Move Toward Denying Biden Communion in Political Decision Violating Vatican Direction

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly voted on Friday to move toward chastising President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, for his policies supporting and defending a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It is the first official step toward denying the U.S. President communion. Biden personally opposes abortion but believes it should be a safe, protected, and legal right, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

The Bishops voted 168-55 to create a “teaching document,” as NBC News reports, to serve as a “rebuke” of Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion. The Roman Catholic Church opposes the move.

“The Vatican has warned conservative American bishops to hit the brakes on their push to deny communion to politicians supportive of abortion rights — including President Biden, a faithful churchgoer and the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office in 60 years,” The New York Times reported Monday, suggesting the U.S. Bishops’ move is just as much a political gesture as a religious rebuke.

“Some leading bishops, whose priorities clearly aligned with former President Donald J. Trump, now want to reassert the centrality of opposition to abortion in the Catholic faith and lay down a hard line — especially with a liberal Catholic in the Oval Office.”

The Times reports the push to go after President Biden is being led by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (photo), the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“The focus of this proposed teaching document,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in a memo, “is on how best to help people to understand the beauty and the mystery of the Eucharist as the center of their Christian lives.”

But the Times noted the Vatican does not want “to use access to the Eucharist as a political weapon,” Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest and close ally of Francis, said.

Conservative American bishops were demanding “a strong rebuke of Biden,” NBC notes, “because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access, while opponents warned that such action would portray the bishops as a partisan force during a time of bitter political divisions across the country.”

 

Image of USCCB President José Horacio Gómez by Prayitno via Wikimedia and a CC license

 

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SENDING A MESSAGE

Watch: ‘Traitor’ Pence Heckled and Booed by Pro-Trump Christian ‘Faith & Freedom’ Conference Attendees

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The conservative Christian Faith & Freedom “Road to Majority” conference erupted early Friday afternoon as pro-Trump attendees heckled and booed likely 2024 presidential hopeful Mike Pence, calling the former vice president a “traitor” for refusing to overturn a free and fair election on January 6.

Pence tried to ignore the verbal assaults, speaking over protestors. Some were escorted out of the room, according to a Tampa Bay Times editor:

Watch as Pence gets heckled. Video via Forbes‘ Andrew Solender:

 

 

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