Blaine Amendment: up for vote in Oklahoma; Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley says repealing amendment would "right a historical wrong."
An Oklahoma bill that could send any doctor who performs an abortion to jail headed to the governor on Thursday, with opponents saying the measure is unconstitutional and promising a legal battle against the cash-strapped state if it is approved.
The bill to make abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison was approved by the Republican-dominated Senate on Thursday. Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican opposed to abortion, has not indicated whether she will sign it.
Workers began digging out the Ten Commandments monument that has been on Oklahoma’s Capitol grounds since 2012 on Monday night, well ahead of the court-ordered removal date of Oct. 12.
John Estus, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said the decision to do the work after dark was based on public safety and security.
By Tuesday, the monument was already installed at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs just a few blocks from the Capitol.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered a Ten Commandments monument removed from the state Capitol grounds Tuesday, three years after its installation sparked a religious feud.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma first filed a lawsuit challenging the monument's constitutionality in 2013.
After a series of challenges to the distribution of Gideon Bibles in the state's school districts, Oklahoma's attorney general stepped in to defend the practice.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced a new initiative "designed to defend religious freedom and provide support to Oklahoma schools facing intimidation."
In an effort to block the state's involvement with gay marriage, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to abolish marriage licenses in the state.
The legislation, authored by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, amends language in the state law that governs the responsibilities of court clerks. All references to marriage licenses were removed.
Oklahoma City's archbishop called the overflow crowd at a Sept. 21 eucharistic Holy Hour "a powerful witness of faith."
More than 600 people filled St. Francis of Assisi Church for the prayer service led by Archbishop Paul Coakley. Another 1,400 people stood in overflow areas and outdoor prayer gardens to listen to his homily over loud speakers.
The Holy Hour was celebrated as a response to a Satanic "black mass" held the same day in a downtown arena.
In the days since the tornadoes, people have come together "to bring comfort and sustain hope where hope has been shaken," the archbishop said.