A Little Good News: We Won All Three Ballot Initiatives
Freedom of religion and belief guarantees that we can freely choose our beliefs because the government cannot compel us to follow or fund a specific faith or any faith. Each of the ballot initiatives proposed to undermine this fundamental American principle and would allow the government to aid religion. The good news is: in all three referendums, religious freedom won.
Oklahomans overwhelmingly rejected SQ 790, an amendment that would have stripped the provision in the state constitution that prevents public money or property from being used to support religion and religious institutions. The provision, which has been a part of the Oklahoma Constitution since the state’s founding, protects the integrity of churches and the government, by keeping them separate. It also protects taxpayers who should not be forced to fund religious institutions.
Legislators put SQ 790 on the ballot after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a government-sponsored Ten Commandments monument on the capitol grounds violated the Oklahoma Constitution. The goal was to repeal that constitutional provision and return the Ten Commandments to the same spot, even though the monument likely would still violate the U.S. Constitution and lead to more costly legal battles.