New & Noteworthy:

Bishop v. Smith

Bishop v. Smith (orig. Bishop v. Oklahoma) is a federal court challenge filed Nov. 3, 2004 (the day after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage), in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs are two same-sex couples, one couple seeking to marry in Oklahoma, and the other couple legally married in Canada in 2005 and again in California in 2008, seeking recognition of their marriage in Oklahoma.

On Jan. 14, 2014, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern struck down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage ban, describing it as “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.” Kern stayed enforcement of his judgement pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

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Tulsa couple who challenged gay marriage ban marry on courthouse steps

Monday, October 6, 2014
Mary Bishop, left, and Sharon Baldwin, right, celebrate following their wedding ceremony in Tulsa, Okla., Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. Bishop and Baldwin were the lead plaintiffs who challenged Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage in 2004, shortly after 76 percent of Oklahoma voters approved the ban.
TULSA, Okla. -- Clasping bouquets of purple and pink roses and lilies, Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin accomplished Monday a task nearly a decade in the making: becoming legally married in Oklahoma. In a ceremony on the Tulsa County Courthouse steps, just as rush-hour traffic was bottling up downtown, the [...]

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Tenth Circuit lifts stay: Same-sex marriage now legal in Utah, Oklahoma

Monday, October 6, 2014
Plaintiffs challenging Utah's gay marriage ban, from left, Derek Kitchen, his partner Moudi Sbeity, Kate Call, her partner Karen Archer, Laurie Wood and her partner Kody Partridge stand together after leaving court following a hearing at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 10, 2014.
DENVER -- A federal appeals court has lifted its stay in gay marriage cases in Oklahoma and Utah, clearing the way for same-sex nuptials to begin in both states. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver lifted the stays Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take [...]

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Okla. couple asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage case

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Sharon Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop are the plaintiffs who successfully challenged Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage
TULSA, Okla. -- Attorneys for a same-sex Tulsa couple seeking the right to marry in Oklahoma have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to take up their case. The couple, Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, sued Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith for failing to [...]

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Oklahoma same-sex marriage appeal lands at U.S. Supreme Court

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
U.S. Supreme Court
TULSA, Okla. -- Voters should decide how to define marriage, not federal judges, said attorneys who filed an appeal Wednesday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage is constitutional. The 47-page appeal was filed by lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization representing Tulsa [...]

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Plaintiffs’ attorneys seek fees in Oklahoma same-sex marriage case

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Plaintiffs challenging Oklahoma's gay marriage ban arrive in court following a hearing at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 17, 2014. They are, left to right, Dr. Gay Phillips, her partner Sue Barton, Sharon Baldwin and her partner Mary Bishop.
TULSA, Okla. -- The attorneys for two lesbian couples who challenged Oklahoma's ban on same-sex have requested that Tulsa County cover their legal fees. The Tulsa World reports the attorneys asked Friday that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals compensate them for their work on the case. They said [...]

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Okla. same-sex marriage decision to be appealed to Supreme Court

Sunday, August 3, 2014
Oklahoma
TULSA, Okla. -- The federal appeals court decision that upheld a district court ruling striking down Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban will be one of at least three same-sex marriage rulings appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal group representing the Tulsa County court clerk, told [...]

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Oklahoma plaintiffs praise same-sex marriage ruling

Friday, July 18, 2014
Sharon Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop are the plaintiffs who successfully challenged Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma couple that challenged a state ban on same-sex marriage is praising a federal court ruling striking down the ban. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver handed down the decision Friday in favor of Tulsans Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin. The two expressed [...]

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Fallin: Marriage ruling an example of federal courts trampling on states’ rights

Friday, July 18, 2014
Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage is an example of federal courts trampling on the rights of states to govern themselves. Fallin issued a statement Friday after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [...]

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Attorney for Tulsa clerk bemoans Okla. same-sex marriage decision

Friday, July 18, 2014
Byron Babione
TULSA, Okla. -- An attorney for Tulsa County’s clerk says he disagrees with a federal appeals court that struck down Oklahoma’s ban against same-sex marriage. OKLAHOMA CITY — An attorney for Tulsa County’s clerk says he disagrees with a federal appeals court that struck down Oklahoma’s ban against same-sex marriage. [...]

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

Friday, July 18, 2014
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 -- 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 [...]

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