Rep. Sanders Praises Passage of Constitutional Amendment to nix Language Cited in Ten Commandments Monument Ruling

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mike Sanders praised today’s passage of a proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate a portion of law cited in the ruling against the display of a Ten Commandments monument on Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.

House Joint Resolution 1062, by state Rep. Randy Grau, removes a section of the Oklahoma State Constitution that provides that “public money or property cannot be used directly or indirectly for any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion.”

“When we learned that the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the Ten Commandments monument removed from the Capitol, everyone was surprised,” said Grau, R-Edmond, an attorney and Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “The ruling went against clear legal precedent supporting the placement of such monuments on government property. Our state’s highest court misinterpreted the Constitution, and we had no choice but to send the question to the people of Oklahoma regarding the public display of such monuments. Today, the House voted overwhelmingly to do that. ”

Sanders said most Oklahomans were astounded by the ruling of the court against the display of the Ten Commandments monument.

“A ruling against the display seemed crazy in light of U.S. Supreme Court rulings in favor of Ten Commandment monument displays on government property,” said Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “We are undoing that damage by striking the language cited in the ruling.”

The proposed constitutional amendment was approved by a vote of 86-10 and now proceeds to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration. If approved by the Senate, a state question will be submitted to the Secretary of State to be placed on the November 2016 ballot.

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