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Gay couples at center of marriage lawsuit to be honored by Oklahoma ACLU

Saturday, March 29, 2014
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James Gibbard, Tulsa World (AP)Gay Phillips, left, her partner Sue Barton, and Mary Bishop and her partner Sharon Baldwin have a champagne toast during a celebration at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 in Tulsa, Okla., after a federal judge struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban.

James Gibbard, Tulsa World (AP)
Gay Phillips, left, her partner Sue Barton, and Mary Bishop and her partner Sharon Baldwin have a champagne toast during a celebration at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 in Tulsa, Okla., after a federal judge struck down Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban.

NORMAN, Okla. — The American Civil Liberties Union is honoring two lesbian couples at the center of a potentially landmark gay rights case that challenges the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Mary Bishop, Sharon Baldwin, Susan Barton, and Gay Phillips will receive the ACLU of Oklahoma’s Angie Debo Civil Liberties Award during a reception Saturday at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

The four women filed the lawsuit in 2004 after Oklahoma voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. They contend the ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment.

A federal judge in January ruled in favor of the couples, but the decision was stayed while the case is being appealed.

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