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Oklahoma one step closer to turning marriage over to clergy to spite gays, atheists

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An Oklahoma bill putting marriage licenses solely in the hands of clergy was approved by the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, the Tulsa World reported.

House Bill 1125 would bar county clerks from issuing marriage licenses in the wake of the federal court ruling late last year striking down a state ban on same-sex marriages. The bill passed in a 67-24 vote, sending it to the state Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Todd Russ (R), said it would “protect” county court clerks opposed to marriage equality from having to recognize same-sex couples’ unions. Shifting the responsibility onto select clergy members, Russ said, takes clerks “out of the trap.”

If the Senate passes the bill, only “an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination” would be allowed to issue “certificates of marriage” after presiding over a ceremony.

“Marriage was not instituted by government,” state Rep. Dennis Johnson (R) said. “It was instituted by God. There is no reason for Oklahoma or any state to be involved in marriage.”

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The measure, one of several GOP bills targeting members of the LGBT communities, has been blasted by advocacy groups, including Oklahomans for Equality, which called it part of an “all-out assault on the LGBT citizens of Oklahoma.”

State House Democrats opposing HB 1125 also noted that it would effectively legalize same-sex unions anyway, since the measure does not specifically define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

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Former FBI Director James Comey outlines the burning questions he’d ask Robert Mueller

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Former FBI Director James Comey has written a lengthy post at the Lawfare blog outlining the most important questions that Democrats need to ask of former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Although many of the questions outlined by Comey are simply asking Mueller to rehash the findings of his final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he does ask some questions designed to get Mueller to offer up his own analysis of President Donald Trump's actions, such as, "Did you find substantial evidence that the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?" and "Did you reach a judgment as to whether the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?"

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Republican running against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had lavished praise on her great leadership

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Only one year after her historic victory over Rep. Joe Crowley, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might face a challenger.

The New York Daily News reports that a Queens Republican who used to support AOC is mounting an election bid to unseat Ocasio-Cortez.

Scherie Murray is a Jamaican immigrant who lives in Queens. She runs an advertising company and identifies as a Republican, the News reports. Murray, in announcing her challenge, accused Ocasio-Cortez of seeking fame at the expense of her constituents.

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Ivanka bashed by CNN guest for jumping into Trump’s racism scandal late and trying to make herself look good

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Appearing on CNN, the author of a piece in The Atlantic on Ivanka Trump's disappearing act whenever her father, President Donald Trump, does something offensive, said the first daughter likes to pick her spots when she can be "part of the show."

Speaking with CNN host Ana Cabrera, journalist Elaina Plott said Ivanka's influence on her father has been overstated since the beginning of his presidency and she moves into the public eye when it benefits her.

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