The Norman Transcript

State/Region

September 26, 2012

Lawmaker looks to repeal Oklahoma blasphemy law

OKLAHOMA CITY — In light of the recent global controversy over freedom of speech and religion that has exploded in violent protests allegedly related to an anti-Islamic internet film, state District 81 Rep. Randy Grau said Tuesday he intends to file legislation that would repeal Oklahoma’s current blasphemy law.

 

“Most Oklahomans would be surprised to find out that they could be charged with a crime for insulting a person’s religion,” said Grau, R-Edmond.

 

Grau said there is an international movement underway to establish a worldwide blasphemy law that would inhibit a person’s freedom to criticize or question another’s religion.

 

“Our American ideals of liberty, including free speech and expression, are under attack.”

 

The Oklahoma statute, located in Title 21, Sections 901-903, has been on the books for more than a century.

 

“While I do not support the gratuitous disparagement of another’s religious views, I do believe it is necessary to stand up for free speech even when it is unpopular to do so,” said Grau. “We do and should have the right to openly debate or question any issue.”

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