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Oklahomans Continue To Debate Ten Commandments Monument Placed On State Grounds

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In late June, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments monument be removed from the state Capitol. In late June, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments monument be removed from the state Capitol.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

In late June, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments monument to be removed from the state Capitol.

But that ruling hasn't stopped the debate among Oklahomans.

Emotions flowed at the state Capitol Saturday afternoon as Oklahomans who are for and against the monument met face-to-face.

About a dozen people rallied in support of it staying, while others wondered why it was still there. 

Rick Peterman drove to the state Capitol from Enid and said he's open to all religious monuments being represented at on the state Capitol grounds.

“If they want to come up here and put theirs in – fine. I don’t care. Just don’t take mine away from me. Don’t belittle my religion because there’s more of them now then there are of us,” he said.

But a couple at the rally said they believe the two should be kept completely separate - that the Ten Commandments do not belong at the state Capitol.

“We don’t think that taxpayer funds or the use of taxpayer grounds for support of a religious purpose is appropriate. Our Constitution says as much very explicitly,” Tim Melton, who supports the removal of the monument, said.

“Just ridiculous. I don’t understand how even religious people don’t understand how crazy this is,” said Georgia McFarland, who also supports the removal.

While the turnout at the state Capitol for saving the monument was slim in numbers, it's the opposite online. Eric Brinsley started a petition that now has more than 14,000 digital signatures of people who want it to stay put.

“That speaks a lot that it’s a majority that wants to keep it,” he said.

A state representative wrote House Joint Resolution 1036 for 2016 legislation. If passed, it would allow voters to decide if the portion of the Oklahoma Constitution cited against the keeping the monument should be removed.

It's a vote Brinsley believes would be won with ease.

“A lot of people are wanting to save our heritage,” he added.

After the initial ruling, the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied a rehearing on the issue requested by state Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

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