Senate Republican Leader James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, wrote Governor Brad Henry Wednesday seeking the governor’s help to withdraw a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage out of committee for a vote on the Senate floor.
SJR 38, authored by Williamson, would send to a vote of the people a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
“I am writing to enlist your active assistance in a bipartisan effort to withdraw Senate Joint Resolution 38 (the marriage protection constitutional amendment) from the Senate Human Resources Committee and bring it a vote before the full Senate,” Williamson wrote.
The Democrat leadership of the Oklahoma State Senate killed SJR 38 last Thursday by refusing to give the legislation a hearing in the Senate Human Resources Committee by the committee deadline. However, the bill can be withdrawn from the committee by a two-thirds vote.
The Senate’s 20 Republicans will vote to withdraw SJR 38 from the Human Resources Committee, meaning the votes of at least 12 Democrat senators are needed to reach the required two-thirds majority.
“With your active and skillful lobbying of the Democrat caucus, I am absolutely confident you can deliver the 12 Democrat votes we need to bring SJR 38 to the Senate floor. Without your help, I fear the extreme left will succeed in stopping any chance for a vote of the people this year on a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage,” Williamson wrote.
“As we have seen in states like Massachusetts, California and New Mexico, the existence of a state law defining marriage does not carry the weight to prevent activist judges and renegade local officials from ignoring it in an effort to redefine marriage. While I support President Bush’s effort to amend the federal constitution, Oklahoma also must exercise our state’s right to protect traditional marriage by amending our state constitution,” he wrote.