Oklahoma's Anti-Gay Marriage Law is Unconstitutional. So is Gay Marriage Now Legal in OK?

The news: On Tuesday, a United States district court ruled Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

“The Court holds that Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” the ruling said, according to CNN.

The Oklahoma ruling comes less than a month after a federal judge ruled Utah’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. But the number of states with gay marriage remains at 17 – because like Utah, same-sex marriage isn’t yet legalized in Oklahoma.

Same-sex couples still can’t marry in Oklahoma. Though a federal judge ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, the decision doesn’t go into effect just yet. Same-sex marriage remains on hold while the state appeals the court’s ruling.

Similarly, in Utah, gay marriage remains in question. After a federal judge overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage, more than 1,000 marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples. But the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and halted same-sex marriages while the state appeals the ruling.    

A string of legal battles are likely to follow Tuesday’s ruling, with the state fighting hard to keep its ban on same-sex marriage. 

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said that she was "disappointed in the judge’s ruling and troubled that the will of the people has once again been ignored by the federal government." According to Fallin, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage passed with support from 75% of Oklahoma voters.

The rulings in Utah and Oklahoma indicate where the fight for same-sex marriage is headed: federal courts coming up against state governments. Which means the rights of same-sex couples will remain in limbo.  

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Benjamin Cosman

Ben graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Political Science. He recently traveled through New England looking for pie. His second-favorite pastime is googling pictures of politicians laughing.

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