Christine Dhanagom


Oklahoma Senate defends marriage

Christine Dhanagom

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 21, 2012, ( - Joining the backlash against President Obama’s public announcement of his support for gay “marriage,” the Oklahoma state senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution reaffirming the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Same sex “marriage” is constitutionally prohibited in the state, by virtue of a 2004 amendment which received the approval of 75 percent of voters. Last week’s resolution re-affirming the state’s stance was passed by a similarly wide margin, with 40 of the 48 Senators voting in favor of the measure.

“Our citizens spoke loud and clear on this issue when they voted to include the definition of marriage in the State Constitution,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Clark Jolley, who authored the resolution. “Senate Resolution 62 reaffirms that our citizens, and no one else, make that call for Oklahoma.”

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Democratic State Senator Tom Adelson, an opponent of the resolution, accused Jolley of holding the legislature “hostage” because he needed “promotional material for the Gods-and-gays leaflet” for an upcoming election, Tulsa World reports.

Jolley denied the allegation, explaining that the resolution was a direct reaction to President Obama’s recent announcement that he was now a supporter of gay “marriage.” After publicly revealing his changed position in an interview on ABC, the president has repeatedly put the issue in the national spotlight in his own re-election campaign.

“I believe traditional one man, one woman marriage is still the bedrock of our society. While the president’s stated views may have changed, I do not believe it reflects the values of this state. That’s why I authored this resolution,” said Jolley.

Obama’s comments have triggered reactions from other politicians in Oklahoma, including Governor Mary Fallin, whose office issued a statement earlier this month reiterating the governor’s position that marriage was a union between one man and one woman.

United States Senator Jim Inhofe, R-OK, called Obama’s statement “not surprising,” stating that the president was “trying to shore up his liberal base in an election year.”

Commenting on the controversy, Timothy Putnam, director of the family life office for the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, told that supporters of traditional marriage should “be careful in the way we frame the discussion.” Conservatives should avoid saying that the law “prohibits” same sex “marriage,” since this “makes the assumption that the state can define marriage” in the first place, he said.

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