A bill which seeks to punish clerks who
issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples cleared an
Oklahoma House committee on Tuesday.
State Rep. Sally Kern, a Republican,
introduced her “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act”
Gay couples started marrying in the
state after the Supreme Court refused to review an appeals court's
ruling declaring unconstitutional a 2004 voter-approved
constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
More than 3,200 such licenses have been issued since the high court's
October 6 ruling.
than 3,200 gay couples marry in Oklahoma.)
Kern's proposal (House Bill 1599) seeks
to cut off government funding for the licensing or support of
marriage equality and threatens state judges with dismissal if they
do not dismiss any challenges to the act.
“No employee of this state and no
employee of any local government entity shall officially recognize,
grant or enforce a same-sex marriage license and continue to receive
a salary, pension or other employee benefit at the expense of
taxpayers of this state,” the bill states. “No taxes or public
funds of this state shall be spent enforcing any court order
requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage
The 68-year-old Kern made headlines for
saying that “the homosexual agenda is a bigger threat than
terrorism” at a 2008 gathering of Republicans.