American Indian Congressman Statement on Marriage Being Declared ‘Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON – Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R – Oklahoma), one of two American Indians serving in the US Congress, has responded to a U.S. district judge’s decision that declared Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage ‘unconstitutional.”

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R - Oklahoma)

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R – Oklahoma)

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Terence C. Kern, who serves the Northern District of Oklahoma was handed down on Tuesday, January 13, 2014.

Oklahoma’s ban on marriage by gay and lesbian couples is “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit,” wrote Judge Kern.

The amendment that was passed by Oklahoma citizens is based on “moral disapproval” and does not advance the state’s asserted interests in promoting heterosexual marriage or the welfare of children, according to Judge Kern.

The Oklahoma amendment that Judge Kern ruled on was adopted by referendum in 2004 with 75 percent of the vote. The referendum passed stated: “marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”

Congressman Mullin issued the following statement late Tuesday afternoon:

“Our constitution protects the sovereignty of states, and with today’s ruling, that right has clearly been violated. Oklahomans overwhelming voted nearly a decade ago to define in our state’s constitution that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Unfortunately we have yet again witnessed the voices of the governed being disregarded. Today’s ruling is disappointing and an unfortunate reflection of federal overreach.”

Congressman Mullin is a tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation, based in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. His district includes the city of Tulsa. The other member of the current Congress who is American Indian is Tom Cole, R – Oklahoma, who is a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation.

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