Oklahoma judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban

Oklahoma gay marriage plaintiffs

Sharon Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop speak at East Central University in Ada, Okla., as part of the ECU Gay-Straight Alliance’s National Coming Out Day event. (AP Photo/Eric Turner)


Federal judge Terrence Kern has struck down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that it violates the US Constitution. Marriages won’t begin right away, as Kern immediately stayed the ruling, pending appeal, a decision influenced by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Utah.

The 2004 constitutional amendment defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Kern said the amendment is based on “moral disapproval.” A day after that legislation was passed, a case against it was was brought forth by two lesbian couples: Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, who sued for the right to marry; and Gay Phillips and Susan Barton, who were legally married in California and sued for recognition of their status. The lawsuit is the longest pending marriage equality case in the country.

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