Oklahoma to End Marriage and Make Divorce More Difficult – News Links
Oklahoma politicians want to make divorce more difficult to obtain, except in cases of abuse and adultery. Other Oklahoma politicians want to do away with marriage altogether.
- OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 27 (UPI) — An Oklahoma state lawmaker is so dedicated to keeping same-sex marriage illegal in his state that he has introduced a bill banning all marriages.
- Jan 24, 2014
Updated: Jan 24, 2014 4:51 PM CST
By Michael Konopasek
OKLAHOMA CITY – State lawmakers are considering throwing out marriage in Oklahoma.
The idea stems from a bill filed by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Edmond). Turner says it’s an attempt to keep same-sex marriage illegal in Oklahoma while satisfying the U.S. Constitution. Critics are calling it a political stunt while supporters say it’s what Oklahomans want.
“[My constituents are] willing to have that discussion about whether marriage needs to be regulated by the state at all,” Turner said.
Other conservative lawmakers feel the same way, according to Turner.
“Would it be realistic for the State of Oklahoma to say, ‘We’re not going to do marriage period,'” asked News 9’s Michael Konopasek.
“That would definitely be a realistic opportunity, and it’s something that would be part of the discussion,” Turner answered.
Such a discussion will be made possible by a current shell bill — something that can be changed at almost any time to react to upcoming rulings on Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban.
“I think that, especially with issues like this, [these lawmakers are] out of touch with most Oklahomans,” said Ryan Kiesel, ACLU Oklahoma executive detector.
Kiesel says prohibiting all marriage is new territory. In fact, the ACLU was unable to find an example of where a state has ever tried to ban all marriage. Kiesel believes the entire idea just boils down to politics.
“Moving forward I think we’ll see less efforts like this,” Kiesel said.
Turner admits his idea makes a lot of people uncomfortable. He also says, “I accept that.” Turner plans to wait until the federal appeals process plays out. The fight over Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage will now head to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver
- BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS •
Modified: January 27, 2014 at 10:10 am •
Published: January 27, 2014
MUSKOGEE — An Oklahoma state representative has filed a bill that would increase the waiting period for most Oklahoma couples seeking a divorce.
Rep. Arthur Hulbert, R-Fort Gibson, said the measure is aimed at reducing Oklahoma’s divorce rate, which is the second-highest in the country, the Muskogee Phoenix reported (http://bit.ly/1hEehKh ). His measure, filed in advance of the legislative session that begins Feb. 3, calls for a six-month waiting period for most divorces.
“I feel like we have a bill that will help strengthen families and give them time to rethink reconciliation,” Hulbert said. “I believe marriages have value, and I think society only benefits if we strengthen the family.”
Oklahoma was named one of the states with the highest divorce rates in the Census Bureau’s 2009 report on divorce.
January 22, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ — No one wants to think about the possibility of his or her marriage dissolving, but for couples in Oklahoma City and other parts of Oklahoma, this may be a valid concern, according to recent statistics. Despite measures attempting to curb separations, the rate of divorce in Oklahoma is still increasing and surpassing the national average.
Recent divorce statistics
Oklahoma’s News 9 reported in December 2013 that marriage rates in Oklahoma are declining, while divorce rates are increasing, in spite of state efforts to maintain marriages such as the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. From 2000 to 2012, Oklahoma’s divorce rate increased from 11.6 percent to 13.5 percent, while the national rate just reached 11.1 percent in 2012.
According to the Huffington Post, Oklahoma was named one of the states with the highest divorce rates in the Census Bureau’s 2009 report on divorce.
The article highlights the fact that in southern states, where early marriage is more common, divorce rates tend to be higher, while in northern states, where it is more common for people to seek higher education and delay marriage, divorce rates trend lower.
These demographic influences could increase the risk that married couples in Oklahoma will someday decide to separate.
Although national and state statistics are not available for 2013, with divorce rates reportedly increasing during the last few years, it appears that many couples in the state could benefit from a better understanding of their options for separating and their rights during the separation.
Separation or divorce in Oklahoma
Legal separation is one option that Oklahoma couples can explore before deciding to divorce. During a legal separation, spouses live apart and enjoy some of the benefits that come with marriage while still having clear responsibilities to each other. Spouses who legally separate and then seek a divorce may see faster divorce proceedings.
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