Kelly Schafler" />
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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Oklahoma conservatives opt to take the marriage ball and go home

Let us think back to when we were children. If you had a sibling, you probably remember having pointless arguments over nothing.

During most of these pointless arguments, you can probably remember your mother coming into the room, prying the toy from between your and your sibling’s hands and saying, “If you can’t play in peace, neither one of you get to play with it. When you both can get along, I will return the toy.”

This seemed to be the most effective way to stop bickering and come to a compromise about who would be allowed to play with the toy.

Let’s imagine that instead of the mother returning the toy after the children got over their differences, the mother said, “Oh, you see, I didn’t actually take the toy away because you were fighting. I took the toy away because I didn’t want a certain one of you to have it. I had to take it away from both of you in order to seem fair.”

If this actually happened between a mother and her children, it would warrant embarrassingly loud temper tantrums in the middle of the supermarket.

It now seems that Oklahoma is taking a page from this metaphorical parenting book titled “How to Anger Your Children.” Mother Oklahoma is trying to employ this childish method to the citizens of Oklahoma.  This “gimme, gimme” attitude is attempting to creep its way into the marital system.

It’s no secret that not everyone in the United States is pro-marriage equality. The whole country has been consistently fighting in regard to same-sex marriage for a while now, but until recently, the opposing sides have been identifiable.

There has been the more conservative side that would rather see only a man and a women joining together in matrimony. Then there has been the opposing side that believes loving someone should not be condensed into gender-specific categories. Now, certain representatives of the Oklahoma government are attempting to input a third option into the mix: getting rid of marriage altogether.

Let me reiterate: in a ploy to eliminate the argument over allowing same-sex marriage in Oklahoma, conservatives have suggested outlawing all marriage in general.

Silly government – we are not children anymore. You cannot dangle the option of marriage over the people’s faces but then never return the toy to either child.

The frontrunner of this bill is Republican lawmaker Mike Turner. Turner first proposed this biased idea after U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution in January.

Turner seems to fear the idea of legalizing gay marriage so much that he would be willing to outlaw marriage in general. reported Turner’s promotion of this no-love bill. Surely, other members of the Oklahoma government would not entertain this idea.

Unfortunately, faith in humanity will not be restored, as the other members of the Oklahoma government are actually considering this bill.

“(My constituents are) willing to have that discussion about whether marriage needs to be regulated by the state at all,” Turner said.

As a way to move forward, this bill has been filed as a shell bill titled the “Preservation of Marriage Act.”

Wikipedia states that a shell bill is a “legislative bill, typically with no substantive provisions, that is introduced for purposes of later being amended to include the actual legislative proposals advanced by the introducers.”

By making this bill a shell bill, it allows for the bill to react and change in accordance to any upcoming rulings regarding Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban.

Although Turner has the support of some Oklahoma conservatives on his side, an article by shows that many believe that the public’s opinion on gay marriage is changing.

Oklahoma Chair of The Equality Network Laura Belmonte believes there to be more important issues that need to be discussed.

“Many Oklahomans really want our legislators to focus on things like improving education, public safety and economic development and are growing increasingly tired of the legislature passing bills that are unconstitutional and really do nothing,” Belmonte said.

Ultimately, the government is trying to take the neutral way out. Instead of sitting through the controversial discussion over same-sex marriage, the government is attempting to throw up their hands and say, “I’m out.”

Until the government realizes that everything doesn’t have to be broken down by gender and if a person is willing to be with another person for the rest of their lives, they should let them, this subject will continue to be brought up.

Mother Government better get comfortable and grab herself a Snuggie, some Funyuns and a 44-ounce drink, because the people of this country want their toy — and I doubt they are going to stop until they get it.

Senior staff columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]


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