The battle rages on as my husband and myself went down to Mid-Town Tag Agency in Tulsa to have our car titles put into each other’s name. The gentleman helping us was a little puzzled, then disappeared for almost 10 minutes. We could hear them in the back talking about it due to their cubicle walls. He returned with his supervisor.
The agent informed us they had just talked with the Oklahoma Tax Commission, who had informed them, we could not do this without paying excise tax on the cars due to the “law has not been changed yet. It’s still with the legislation.”
It is our understanding and the understanding of Troy Stevenson of TEN – The Equality Network, that marriage was equal in Oklahoma. Even Department of Public Safety has realized they cannot withhold LGBT couples who are legally married from changing their names on their driver’s licenses.
This week other Oklahoma agencies have started acknowledging same sex marriages as legal marriages in the State of Oklahoma, some allowing you to add your spouse on your benefits.
We will be marching back down there this afternoon and demanding they give us our equal rights in Oklahoma. We cannot be complacent on any of these issues and we need to stand up and demand our rights be acknowledged.
We will keep you informed.
The head-banging frustrating explanation….
Trying to explain to this agency there is no differences in marriage in Oklahoma anymore! No heterosexual or same sex marriage; JUST MARRIAGE!!!
— with Clay Finck-Ward at Mid-Town Tag Agency.
The conclusion of the debate on their lack of direction….
#ThisIsHowWeWin Very happy day! We are proud to announce after a little over an hour of intense conversation between the Oklahoma Tax Commission Attorney’s office with the amazing Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of TEN - The Equality Network, Clay and I are the first gay couple in Oklahoma to be able to put our names on each other's car titles without having to pay an excise tax! Feels good to be recognized as the family unit we are!
The problem is with OTC, not with this nice lady at the tag agency who was doing as she was directed by OTC in telling us NO. She even acknowledged that a marriage is marriage! She was doing as her boss, OKLAHOMA, was telling her!
OKLAHOMA, get on the band wagon! You are not above the Supreme Court, no matter what our leaders are telling you!
The morale of the story….
Our leaders are saying that the “rogue Supreme Court” should not be allowed to make decisions on behalf of Oklahoma citizens, especially on an issue they had voted against over a decade ago. Well, you can’t decide the only time the Supreme Court is a good forum is when they vote in your favor. Our government is set up in a way the people of America have asked for and allowed to happen.
Whether good or bad, the Supreme Court is there for a reason. The problem doesn’t lie with the Supreme Court, or the 10th Circuit Court. The problem is with Oklahoma leaders not giving guidance to state agencies on how to implement these changes. They are basically putting these agencies in a situation where they are breaking the law.
It is sad when they have to get attorneys on the phone, from both sides to argue what the proper course of action should be. But in the end, the OTC attorney’s knew it was in their best interest to allow this and I am so pleased we were the first this marriage benefit was extended to.
Many thanks go out to the many people who have fought for more than a decade for this right to be given to couples like us. Thank you Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin. Thank you Sue and Gay. Thank you OKEQ and TEN – The Equality Network for all of your hard work and support. You kept us updated, you made us feel safe and you never back down. True heroes in my book. And thank you to all of the other LGBT couples who have stood by, patiently waiting, not always in silence, for this day to happen.
The true morale of the story….
You can’t stand in the way of love and you can’t stop human rights. They both are bigger than all of us and we will have champions fighting until the end of time for what is right. I bow to you all.
Have a peaceful night!
Johnny Bryan Ward
P.S. Thanks Troy for your hard work and support on this today! #LGBT