Todd Russ (R-Dumbfuck), just added a Jesus threesome to your marital bed

Oklahoma’s House of Representatives has gotten on its white horse and rode up to the rescue of poor, poor county clerks who just can’t be imposed upon to do their fucking jobs — issuing marriage licenses to everyone, even the homo sort — due to their Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs™. It’s passed a bill, introduced by State Rep. Todd Russ, which would take ALL MARRIAGE out of the hands of the state, and sign that responsibility over to Pastor Joseph who handles the snakes:

Oklahoma would stop issuing marriage licenses under legislation passed Tuesday afternoon by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1125, by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, would instead require those officiating marriage ceremonies to file after-the-fact “certificates of marriage” with court clerks’ offices. Alternatively, couples could file affidavits of common law marriage.

Russ said his bill is intended to “protect” county court clerks who do not want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“This takes them out of the trap,” he said.

The Tulsa World points out that the law would no longer say that marriage has to be one man, one woman, calling it “ironic.” We call it “hey look, a Red State actually listened to a judge!”

Democrats of Oklahoma, that lefty liberal cohort, seem to agree:

Opponents, most of them Democrats, said the bill would create a scenario in which Republicans will have legalized same-sex marriages even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the lower court rulings the bill seeks to counter.

We assume the Tulsa World reporter forgot to include the part of the quote where the Democratic opponents of the bill added, “which would be fine by us, obviously, as we are not shitheads.”

Here, have some bill! It explains (no it doesn’t, it is confusing as fuck) that in lieu of a marriage license, “an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination” would sign a “certificate of marriage” after marrying up some folks. Then you go and … hand in your marriage certificate to those poor, put-upon county clerks! WHAT IF THEY DON’T WANT TO TOUCH IT?

Sadface, the bill does not say.

Oh, but what about the atheists? WHO WILL MARRY THE GODLESS HEATHEN ATHEISTS??? Well, funny story! All our compadre liberal blogs are reporting that only pastors (or Hindu … yogis, we guess?, or rabbis from the Jooz) can sign these here marriage certificates, except that is not actually true.

While the original HB1125 did strike “judges” from the folks eligible to consecrate Bubba Darryl and Caitlyn Grace’s holy union, the version that was passed puts those judges right back in there — and that’s been the operative version since Feb. 18.

Liberal blogs, may we suggest READING THE GODDAMN BILL ONCE IN A WHILE?

We are just saying.

In fact, now that judges are back in (no word on ship captains), Rep. Todd Russ seems to have actually done Oklahoma a favor. Not only does the bill make no mention of marriage as between “one man and one woman” or “husband and wife,” but in fact the only change to existing law is that there’s one fewer hoop you have to jump through before you can git your weddin’ on. No need to get licensed first to get hitched up proper.

And it all worked out fine in the end.


[Tulsa World via Towleroad]

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  • Callyson

    Wouldn’t it just be easier if the fundies got over their prejudices in the first place?

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Easier, yes, but far less amusing.

    • whatwhomever

      not easier, since the increase in intelligence that would be necessary would probably require a brain transplant, which is not a proven technology.

    • Lot_49

      Hope it can happen faster than their recovery from racism, which is only proceeding with all deliberate speed.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    No word on ship captains? Well, there goes my dream of joining the Navy, not to mention the ensuing replies with puns on “poop deck” and “Rear Admiral.”

    • LIT_Fag

      Seamen, also, too.

      • jviscont1

        Jolly Roger?

        • Meccalopolis

          all hands on deck!

  • CalvinianChoice

    Does the ship captain’s lobby not have a man in Oklahoma?

    • formerChild

      They’d better get off their butts. Oklahoma is gonna be a coastal city in just a few more decades, here in Kochworld.

      Edit: hah! Our avatars go together like…um…pickles & chocolate?

      • LarryHoudini

        Get a room you two.

      • Mormos

        I’ll just go to Disneyworld instead thanks. Wait, DAMMIT KOCH BROTHERS!

    • laineypc

      They might, but who can tell with all the corn up as high as an elephant’s eye?

  • Wow. The county clerk lobby is much more powerful than I knew. Still, I think judges are not going to love being pestered to sign a bunch of purely clerical forms. Because that’s what clerks are for!

    • MrBlobfish

      Ya don’t mess with Big Clerk.

    • Steverino247

      My experience is that clerks run the court and all the judges know it.

      • Mormos


    • nmmagyar

      True story – after working for several attorneys/law firms, I learned that even judges are afraid of clerks – they are the only people in the entire judicial system with real power. The judges will do as they are told (by their clerks)

  • MrBlobfish

    Oklahoma: The Acme House of Representatives.

  • ManchuCandidate

    So this is what the old Loony Tunes “Duck Season/Rabbit Season” bit looks like played out in real life.

    • Spotts1701

      “Mowe Bwiefing?” – Oklahoma Republicans

  • Nounverb911

    “other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination”
    This is good news for Pastafarians.

    Pastafarian Ordination Certificate

  • FogRunner


    • Mormos


  • JohnE_o

    “Oh, but what about the atheists? WHO WILL MARRY THE GODLESS HEATHEN ATHEISTS???”

    Their hippie stoner buddy who got his Universal Life Church ordination certificate just for the occasion, just like they’ve always done.

    No one appreciates tradition anymore…

    • ThatDale

      Precisely. As a ULC ordained functionary, I’ve married two couples, one homo and the other hetero, and I’m prepared to do it again. But I’m not going to Oklahoma. Fuck that shit.

    • kindness

      Hey, Hey, Hey! Be nice. I got married by my old college room mate who had one of those certificates. Got it on line for $5 I think. The County Clerk took the application and filed it. Of course that is California for you. The ‘preacher’ btw…he’s a gay Buddist/New Age kind of preacher.

      • JohnE_o

        I am nice! I’m also the aforementioned hippie stoner buddy for three couples so far, out here in Texas.

        Not as stoner as I used to be, alas…but now I remember where my keys are, so there’s that.

    • willi0000000

      keep it simple . . . go see the Unitarians . . . they’ll marry anybody if you ask nice.

    • Meccalopolis

      my dad and step mom were married by the OM guru guy

  • MrBlobfish

    Good God!! The Gays stole Todd’s lips!

  • JoeChristmas

    And don’t even get them started on the divorce process.

    • KenRob

      I thought about that too. How could the State be involved in the divorce process if they weren’t involved in the marriage process? Would those same “religious leaders” have to approve a divorce? That would prove very inter est ing with the many times married & divorced RWingers and the dictates of they BuyBull against divorce wouldn’t it. Me thinks this is going to create one of the biggest clusterf*cks in their history. Moer popcorn please.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Maybe Oklahoma should change its state motto to: “We can’t even do wrong things right.”

  • Randy Riddle

    Do you have to be in Oklahoma? I’m thinking I could pick up a few extra bucks marryin’ Okies over Skype.

    • KinkyReggae

      Not sure too many Okies know what the Skype is.

  • Mormos

    great, now if i could just get a date…

  • chicken thief

    Wouldn’t the “Certificate of Marriage” be similar to Hawaii’s “Certificate of Birth” that got Obama into trouble and that the fundies previously hated?

    • MrBlobfish

      If you are Donald Trump, yes. Are you Donald Trump?

  • chicken thief

    T-Russ looks kinda pleased that this geyh stuff has finally been fully crammed down his throat.

  • YourMom

    And the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will be recognized as a bona fide umbrella of legitimate gay, straight and all kinds of marryin’ ? The bill will be followed by a reduction in county clerk budgets and staff layoffs due to the lighter work loads everywhere.

  • chicken thief

    *Rick Santorum straps dog to the roof of his car, sets out for Oklahoma*

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Yeah, it does sound as if the baggers have accidentally made the Santorum dream of man/dog marriage a possibility. Does this also validate incest? How about Linda Ducharme (of Florida, because obviously) who married a ferris wheel?

  • exinkwretch

    In addition to speedier marriage, Okiestan also has access for a (federally funded, BTW) interstate highway system than enables you to speed the fuck out of that hellhole.

    • Hardly Ideal

      Oklahoma: A Terrific Place to Leave!

      • willi0000000

        to paraphrase dear old Dad . . . “Oklahoma, a nice place to be from.”

        [he said it about NY]

        • arrrghle

          well I can testify it applies to Oklahoma too. Best seen through the rearview mirror on your way to New Mexico.

  • Bitter Scribe

    In a weird way, this kind of validates the gliberarian shitheads who oppose gay marriage but can’t bring themselves to admit that it’s because they think gays are icky. Instead, they fall back on “the government shouldn’t be in the marriage business at all so let’s not extend that mistake to gays, see, I’m so objective and logical.” Now Oklahoma is kind of calling their bluff.

  • laineypc

    Oh what a beautiful morning!

  • Wonkaholic

    Say, didn’t the Village People have a ship captain in their ranks?

    • sw19womble

      There were plenty of seamen, at any rate.


      • Blank Ron

        No, somebody didn’t.

  • FlownOver

    Sallisaw – the new West Hollywood.

  • BillWestern

    Jeez this is confusing. What ever happened to the blood test (that I’m quite certain didn’t go beyond taking blood) and heading to Tennessee so a guy could marry his 16 year old girlfriend cuz she’s pregnant. Sorry, I’m from Chicago, this is all too complicated.

  • Rotational Symmetry

    Wait, serious question: Under this bill, if a “member of the clergy” performs a polyamorous wedding, would the state have to recognize it? ‘Cause I’m sure that the bill’s author would just love that.

    • Steve Hyman

      The form probably only has two spaces for names. No writing between the lines.

    • cessnadriver

      Good point. If two men marry the same woman the officiant could just register two certificates. If all three wanted to be poligimarried to each other then the register three certs.

  • dimplasm


  • Ryan Denniston

    Here you go.

  • Amy!

    As a relatively serious question, does the bill make it impossible for unpastored quaker meetings to marry couples?

    (all quaker meetings used to be unpastored, though a significant number in the united states now have paid pastors; meetings perform the ceremony, and then all members present sign the document to witness, with no officiant)

    • Yes. It specifically mentions Quaker, Bahá’i and Mormon congregations who can pick any authorised person to sign the certificates.

    • Ann

      You know that this has been an issue always for Friends, right? And there have been programmed Meetings since the 18th century, I believe. Only three states in the USA have self uniting certificates. In every other state, the Meeting must have someone declared officiant for such purposes.

      • Amy!

        Really? No, I wasn’t aware. I was a participant (witness) at a wedding held by a meeting (West Knoxville) in Tennessee for non-members, and then I did the calligraphy for the document for a meeting in Ohio (Wooster). Neither state is mentioned in the self-uniting certificates page on Wikipedia, although it’s possible that the form was preserved by the meeting while a with-officiant license was quietly obtained in the background.

        My understanding is that programmed/pastored meetings were mostly a result of the ‘great awakening’ of the early nineteenth century (and are an almost entirely US phenomenon, though exported to Africa and various other “missionary” target locations by the yearly meetings that united the various pastored meetings).

  • Steve Hyman

    A Red State accidently stumbles into a really good idea. Pick your Minister (or whoever is legally qualified) get married and aforementioned officiant files a form. Cuts out the licensing step all together. It’s just to collect a fee anyway. Smaller Gubmint!

  • Oklahomans, I am an ordained Dudeist, so cover my round trip plane ticket from Cali and throw in a case of beer and I’d be happy to marry you and your guy, gal, person who identifies as a guy, person who identifies as a gal, or any other type of consenting adult. Or have your local friends go online and get ordained too. You know, whatever, man.

    Just saying, Republicans, there are a lot of us out here who’d be happy to marry two people who love each other.

  • GrumpyJohn

    This is just a way around the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution. Since the state would not actually issue the license a ‘certificate of marriage’, especially between same-sex- couples, would not have to be recognized by another state that still has laws on the books only recognizing marriage between man and woman.

  • Walter Wellstone

    It’s Okla-fucking-homa. Who cares?

  • omomma

    So, now, if Bubba Sue shows up with the wedding certificate for him and his goat herd, it’s all hunky dory at the court house?

    • cessnadriver

      No, no, only in church. As long as Bubba Sue keeps up on his tithes….

  • KenRob

    This Bill seems to put marriage squarely under religious leaders. What about the “Freedom FROM Religion? Will there be no such thing as a secular wedding? Aren’t they also the State who is trying to mandate blood tests before you can get married? If so, does the bill cover how that will be managed? So many ways OK screws up anything they touch.

    Edit: Just read the bill – WoW! What a mess it is. In re-reading it again, it seems like the words they are using to specify what religious entities who can perform a marriage eliminate pretty much anyone who is not Christian or Jewish. They will only approve “Recognized Assemblies.” I could be wrong, but with the garbled language used, seems to be open to a lot of speculation.

    Pre-marital counseling anyone??

    • Ulricii

      I think they’ve dug their own grave with that “recognized assemblies” provision. So the Oklahoma government bodies are going to “recognize” some assemblies for marriage purposes, leaving others “unrecognized” and unapproved for marriage filing purposes? If the bill is adopted I see ACLU suing in 3..2..1..

      • Ann

        Many states do that, to keep internet clergy/mail clergy from performing marriages. Has been like that in many places for quite some time.

        • Tim

          And is clearly ripe for appeal, in many places.

  • Meccalopolis

    only thing I want to know, if they get divorced, are they still cousins?

  • Well this is the perfect time for me to get ordained! I promise, not all us Oklahomies are idiots.

  • cessnadriver

    The whole getting a license from the State to get married thing is an antique anyway. This is actually not a bad governmental idea and all that really needs to be done is to license all officiants to file certificates. Paperwork reduction!

    • Ann

      Or do self certification, like Quakers can do in some states. Quakers don’t have clergy, and on the religious side of things, all those attending sign the (religious) certificate.

  • Whollyholeyholy

    Unintended ironic consequences make my heart sing like nothing else.

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