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Gay couples in Okla. marriage case to be honored with civil liberties award

Thursday, March 13, 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.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two gay couples who are plaintiffs in a potentially landmark case challenging Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage are being honored by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU’s Oklahoma chapter announced Wednesday it plans to present its Angie Debo Civil Liberties Award to the four women: Mary Bishop, Sharon Baldwin, Susan Barton and Gay Phillips.

The four women filed a lawsuit in 2004 after Oklahoma voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that banned same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs 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 to the 10th U.S. Court of Appeals.

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