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Gay rights groups plan celebrations across Okla., following marriage ruling

Friday, July 18, 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. On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld that ruling.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gay rights groups are planning celebrations across the state after a federal appeals court ruled Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Two separate rallies were planned Friday evening in Oklahoma City, with other events scheduled in Tulsa and Norman.

A “Decision Day Gathering” set for 7 p.m. Friday night at the Mayflower Congregational Church in northwest Oklahoma City was expected to draw hundreds of people.

One of the event’s organizers, Troy Stevenson of The Equality Network, says there is a tremendous sense of relief for members of Oklahoma’s gay and lesbian community, but he also noted the case ultimately must be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Friday’s ruling was put on hold pending any appeal, which means gay marriages won’t immediately take place in Oklahoma.

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