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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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Oklahoma plaintiffs praise same-sex marriage ruling

| Friday, July 18, 2014
Oklahoma plaintiffs Sharon Baldwin, left, and her partner Mary Bishop leave court following a hearing at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Thursday, April 17, 2014.
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 gratitude for the ruling that they say affirms that all people are...

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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 in Denver struck down Oklahoma's constitutional ...

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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 p.m. Friday night at the ...

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AUDIO: Tenth Circuit appeals panel hears arguments on Okla. gay marriage ban

| Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Byron White U.S. Courthouse in Denver, the seat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
DENVER — A three-judge panel heard arguments Thursday on whether they should uphold a ruling by a federal judge that threw out Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban. Following is the audio recording of today's hearing >

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Judge has sharp questions for attorneys at Okla. same-sex marriage hearing

| Thursday, April 17, 2014
Judge Jerome A. Holmes
DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

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Same-sex marriage has second appellate court hearing

| Thursday, April 17, 2014
Sharon Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop are plaintiffs challenging Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage
DENVER -- Same-sex marriage has its second hearing at the federal appellate level Thursday as lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license square off in a Denver courtroom.

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Tenth Circuit, Round 2: Court takes up Oklahoma same-sex marriage case

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sharon Baldwin, left, and her partner Mary Bishop speak with members of the media before boarding a plane to Denver at Tulsa International Airport, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Oklahomans for Equality gathered at Tulsa International Airport with their signs for a send off celebration in support for the plaintiffs, including Baldwin and Bishop, in the Oklahoma Marriage Equality lawsuit as they head to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license go before a federal appeals court with a familiar question for the judges: Did the state's voters single out gay people for unfair treatment when they defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman?

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What’s next in the legal odyssey to achieve marriage equality across the land?

| Thursday, April 10, 2014
marriage equality
Thursday's hearing in Denver marks the first time a same-sex marriage case has been heard by an appellate court since last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

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Okla. lawyers argue that marriage exists for its ‘procreative potential’

| Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Michael Wyke, Tulsa World (AP)Mary Bishop listens as her partner Sharon Baldwin speaks about the status of appeals in the ongoing Oklahoma same sex marriage fight during a news conference at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa, Okla., Monday, March 17, 2014. The two are co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state for banning same sex marriage.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Marriage exists for its procreative potential, not just as recognition of a loving relationship between two people, and the U.S. Supreme Court agrees, lawyers for an Oklahoma clerk said in a new court filing.

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