Federal Court Declares Oklahoma Ban on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples Unconstitutional

Affiliate: ACLU of Oklahoma
January 14, 2014 7:25 pm

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A federal court today declared that Oklahoma’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Implementation of the decision is on hold while the state appeals.

The challenge to the law was brought by the Oklahoma City law firm Holladay & Chilton PLLC on behalf of Oklahoma same-sex couples.

“It’s no accident that we’re seeing a decision like this in a comparatively conservative place like Oklahoma,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “It reflects the growing consensus across the country – in red, blue, and purple states – that it’s unfair to exclude same-sex couples from marriage. At least for the moment, love has won out.”

The ACLU has brought challenges of its own against similar laws in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia. Following the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act – a case in which the ACLU served as co-counsel to Edie Windsor – the ACLU launched the Out for Freedom campaign to achieve the freedom to marry for same-sex couples across the country.

“We’re thrilled that the court has struck down this discriminatory law,” said Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “The heartland of America should be a place where loving and committed couples are able to obtain the legal protections and dignity afforded by marriage, and this decision brings us one step closer towards true equality.”

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