State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) today praised the committee passage of a bill that will protect pastors from participating in same-sex marriage ceremonies. House Bill 1007, which Bennett co-authored, was approved by a vote of 7-2 in the Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee Tuesday. The legislation states: "No regularly licensed, ordained or authorized official of any religious organization shall be required to solemnize or recognize any marriage that violates the official's conscience or religious beliefs." It gives religious officials and clerical individuals immunity from lawsuits based on a refusal to participate in the ceremony.
Bennett said, "Gay people can find someone to marry them and provide wedding services, but they shouldn't be able to force pastors or businesses to take part. I believe religious rights trump gay rights. If religious rights don't trump gay rights, then we're heading down the road of Iran, where citizens are forced to convert to Islam or die. I always hear the phrase separation of church and state by the left when it benefits them, but the reality is if we want to have a separation of church and state, we must use it for its factual meaning and keep the state out of our churches." This bill now proceeds to the full House for consideration.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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