The Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol is no longer there.
Crews removed it Monday night under court order and relocated it. The monument now sits at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, which is one mile south from where it used to sit at the state capitol.
A crane plucked the 4,800-pound granite monument from its home of three years and moved it to the grounds of a non-government agency, the OCPA.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the monument violates the state constitution and it had to be removed by October 12.
“This will be the day that the citizens of Oklahoma recognize, give a firm point to the fact that the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma is out of control and doesn't abide by the constitution or the citizens of Oklahoma,” said former state lawmaker Mike Reynolds.
Reynolds was an integral part of the installation of the monument and witnessed the removal of it Monday night at 10:30 p.m.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the removal of the monument means that religious liberty prevailed.
“This is the first day in quite some time that a citizen can go to the state Capitol and not be told what to believe, that no citizen because of their faith or lack thereof stands above or below any other at our state capitol, at our most important public building,” said Brady Henderson with ACLU of Oklahoma.
The state hired the same company that installed the monument to remove it for $4,700.
The Office of Management and Enterprise Services is the state agency that oversaw the removal process.
An OMES spokesperson said there were concerns about security and possible protests, so crews removed the statue at night to minimize any problems.
The monument was the target of violence last year when a man plowed over it with his car. The monument removed Monday night was a replacement.
Gov. Mary Fallin said she would work with lawmakers to put a proposed Constitutional change to a vote of the people, allowing the monument to eventually return to the Capitol.
“We also hope the legislative session begins we'll be able to work with our legislators and let the people of Oklahoma decide if they'd like to have monuments with historical significance placed upon public lands.” Fallin told News 9.
In particular, Fallin and other state leaders want to repeal the Blaine Amendment, the section of the Oklahoma Constitution cited by the court when it ordered the monument to be removed.
A news release sent out by the Governor’s office said the Blaine Amendment was originally designed to suppress Catholic education while allowing state funding of protestant-oriented schools.
Even though the monument was removed from state property, it still belongs to the state of Oklahoma.