Sunday, November 14, 2004

Okie Amendment

The Oklahoma amendment to its constitution that passed on November 2nd reads:

A. Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union
of one man and one woman. Neither this Constitution nor
any other provision of law shall be construed to require
that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be
conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

B. A marriage between persons of the same gender performed
in another state shall not be recognized as valid and
binding in this state as of the date of the marriage.

C. Any person knowingly issuing a marriage license
in violation of this section shall be guilty of
a misdemeanor.

As well as letting public and private employers deny benefit to unmarried hetero- or homosexual couples, it looks like the legislators were going for the greatest specificity possible. They must have wanted to head off the type of lawsuit that Bridger-Riley filed, or at least have a good shot in court. Now we'll see whether that backfired.

We may be back to the type of state/nation arguments the original Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention had. Our federated nation put states' rights in its constitution. On the other hand, that works in no small part because in general one state recognizes the acts of another when it crosses borders -- driving licenses and marriages, for example.

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