September 19, 2014

Oklahoma City-- In response to Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince’s ruling in favor of the State’s motion for summary judgement in Prescott, et. al. v. Capitol Preservation Commission, the ACLU of Oklahoma makes the following statement:

The following is attributable to Brady Henderson, Legal Director, ACLU of Oklahoma:

“We respectfully disagree with the decision of the court. The plaintiffs in this case do not seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the State Capitol lawn because they find the text of the monument offensive, but rather because, like many Oklahomans, the Ten Commandments constitute a core part of their sincerely held religious beliefs and it is offensive to them that this sacred document has been hijacked by politicians. We will appeal this decision and ask the Oklahoma Supreme Court to find that the Oklahoma Constitution does not give the government the power to cheapen inherently religious texts.”

The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of Oklahoma:

“Not only is the exploitation of the Ten Commandments for political purposes an insult to the many Oklahomans who incorporate the commandments into their religious observance, it marginalizes those Oklahomans of different faiths and no faith at all by sending a distinct message that they are less welcome at the State Capitol. We aim to ensure the freedom of  future generations of Oklahomans to make their own decisions about faith remains intact and free from political interference. We knew going into this case that it would ultimately be decided by the Oklahoma Supreme Court and today’s decision places us one step closer to a resolution by the State’s highest court.”