9 March 2003
And the feathers continue to fly
Tuesday, Senator Frank Shurden (D-Henryetta) expects a vote on Senate Bill 835, which proposes yet another cockfighting election, though this one will be limited to settling the penalties. Under State Question 687, passed last fall, taking part in a cockfight is a felony; Shurden wants this reduced to a misdemeanor, and he apparently thinks that while most people in Oklahoma do support the ban, which passed with 56 percent of the vote, they don't necessarily want people hauled into the pen for a year or more for it.
The House has already passed a similar measure, which suggests that Shurden might actually have a chance of getting this through. The anti-cockfighting forces are, unsurprisingly, highly incensed at all this. Meanwhile, there are legal challenges to SQ 687 in more than two dozen counties. We haven't heard the last of this issue by any means.