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I Feel Responsible

Jason Nelson, a self described "common sense conservative" who represents the district just east of Bethany,  has introduced House Bill 3408 which says:

Any minister of the Gospel, or other person authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony within this state, who shall knowingly solemnize the rites of matrimony between persons prohibited by this chapter, from intermarrying shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and imprisonment in the State Penitentiary custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years.

A minimum of one year in the State Penitentiary custody of the Department of Corrections for performing a gay marriage?  For an act that is, since the state won't issue a marriage license, purely symbolic?  What is next, making it a misdemeanor for high school kids to recite "your love is a red, red rose" while trying to get into the pants of their gullible girlfriend?

I feel a pang of guilt for inspiring this bill.  You see, last year, I wrote a column called "The Sanctity of Marriage" pointing out that while the state  may not recognize gay marriage, some religions that do condone the practice will still bless the love of same-sex couples.  Had I not pointed this out, Representative Nelson would have continued believing that homosexuals were thwarted when the state voted for the "Defense of Marriage" amendment.

Unfortunately for him, that amendment only made it a misdemeanor to knowingly issue a marriage license, which, to be fair, is really the only jurisdiction the state has.  Explain that to Nelson, who seems to think the First Amendment only protects the Metropolitan Baptist Church's religious beliefs while The Cathedral of Hope should take it's biblical teachings from the State of Oklahoma's Constitution.  Either that, or he just doesn't care about civil liberties when sodomites are using them.

Luckily, unless I am still too gullible after watching this state's legislature work for the last couple of decades, most people will recognize the folly of Nelson's attempt to regulate minister's interpretation of the gospels and I predict it won't even get voted on.  If I'm wrong, it will probably pass and Nelson's next objective will be re-enacting anti-sodomy bills that will make anything other than the missionary position punishable by being assigned to the State Penetentiary Department of Corrections.

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