A Federal Judge Rules That Oklahoma’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

OK becomes the 18th or 19th state to enjoy marriage equality (Utah is still complicated)

OMG. The day that I never thought would come has come. A federal judge has just ruled today that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional … which means essentially that one of the most conservative states in the US can now enjoy marriage equality!! BUT, as we saw in Utah, pending an appeal the citizens of OK may not yet be able to get married until the matter can be settled in appeals court. Even still, today is a GREAT DAY for the people of Oklahoma and another GREAT DAY for the US as a whole!

Today U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. His ruling is stayed pending appeal, meaning marriages will not occur immediately in the Sooner State. HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“Judge Kern has come to the conclusion that so many have before him – that the fundamental equality of lesbian and gay couples is guaranteed by the United States Constitution. With last year’s historic victories at the Supreme Court guiding the way, it is clear that we are on a path to full and equal citizenship for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Equality is not just for the coasts anymore, and today’s news from Oklahoma shows that time has come for fairness and dignity to reach every American in all 50 states.”

Two plaintiff couples, Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin and Gay Phillips and Susan Barton, filed their case, Bishop v. Oklahoma, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma in November 2004. Lead counsel in the case are Don Holladay and James Warner of the Oklahoma City law firm Holladay & Chilton PLLC. The ruling comes on the heels of a year-long string of electoral, judicial and legislative victories for marriage equality. In recent weeks both the New Mexico Supreme Court and a federal district judge in Utah have ruled in favor of marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

Wow! This is the best news ever. As you may know, I went to college in Oklahoma and while that state is full of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, it’s also full of the most conservative and traditionally-minded people you’ll ever encounter. During my senior year at the University of Oklahoma, I took a class in Constitutional Law and I was tasked with arguing in front of the class for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Amazingly, I did well enough to win my case in the class and get an A for the project. Back then, tho, the thought that same-sex marriage would really be legal was a dream. Today, it’s practically a reality for the people of Oklahoma. I’m so happy. Let’s send all of our love and best wishes to the people of the Sooner state on this amazing, amazing news! It won’t be long until all 50 states enjoy marriage equality. We are getting there, oh yes we are.

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  1. Jstar

    “the fundamental equality of lesbian and gay couples is guaranteed by the United States Constitution”–this is why gay marriage should be legal everywhere!

  2. @Trent “Hook ‘Em Horns” you know the rival is never dead :)

  3. Paul

    Federal judges are probably the only way the conservative states are going to get this. The Oklahoma voters approved the state constitutional amendment on marriage by a wide margin, just like in Utah.

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