Senator Sykes distinguishes between S.Q. 755, H.B. 1552

Responding to news reports and the inquiries of reporters, Oklahoma state Sen. Anthony Sykes this afternoon (Monday, April 11) sent to CapitolBeatOK and other news organizations this statement:

“There has been a lot of misinformation generated that House Bill 1552 is the ‘No Sharia or International Law’ that was passed last November by Oklahoma voters with 70% of the vote. It is not. 

 “State Question  755 is currently on appeal to the [Tenth U.S.] Circuit Court of Appeals. A Federal Judge granted an injunction to the Council on Islamic Relations to stop SQ 755 from taking effect. H.B. 1552 is a bill requested by a Washington D.C. think tank in response to our S.Q. 755. While H.B. 1552 is a good measure, it does not come near to offering the protection that S.Q. 755 does to Oklahoma voters. H.B. 1552 merely passes a law, which is much different than the Constitutional Amendment the voters approved in S.Q. 755. H.B. 1552 may be an option in the future and can be considered at a later time.

 “I firmly believe that the people of Oklahoma want us to defend S.Q. 755 and do everything to ensure that their voice is heard.  Should we pass H.B. 1552 at this time, we would essentially be waiving the white flag and surrendering any chance we have on appeal that S.Q. 755 would go into effect. Further the passage of H.B. 1552 while the appeal of S.Q. 755 is pending would send a signal that Oklahomans have settled for a lesser version and would be used against us in our efforts to have the voice of the people heard. This fight is far from over, and has been going on for a while.

 “As its author, I am committed to doing everything I can to see that S.Q. 755 takes effect in Oklahoma. As legislators, we owe it to the people to see that their voice is heard and not give up at the first sign of trouble. Should we come to a point where S.Q. 755 is no longer an option, then other measures would be considered.”