Oklahoma governor signs bill ‘protecting’ clergy who refuse to officiate same-sex unions

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that allows ministers to refuse to perform same-sex marriages if such marriages conflict with their religious beliefs.

Fallin said Friday that the law will protect the constitutional and religious rights of Oklahomans.

The law says no licensed, ordained or authorized official of a religious organization can be required to solemnize or recognize a marriage that violates that official’s conscience or religious belief.

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Fallin said the bill makes it clear that religious leaders and houses of worship can’t be forced by the government to violate their faith where marriage is concerned.

Troy Stevenson of Freedom Oklahoma, which advocates for gay and transgender rights in Oklahoma, has said he believes the bill is unnecessary but that he supports the spirit of the law.

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