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Oklahoma

Oklahoma is the 46th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on Nov. 16, 1907. Its capital and most populous city is Oklahoma City.

Marriage Equality: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex partnerships solemnized in other jurisdictions was approved by voters in November 2004. On Jan. 14, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Terence C. Kern ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. He stayed enforcement of his judgement pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The case is Bishop v. Oklahoma.

For information on state laws relating to LGBT rights, discrimination, hate crimes and adoption, click here.

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

| Wednesday, August 27, 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.
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 issue them a marriage license shortly after voters in Oklahoma approved a ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.

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Sally Kern’s husband loses runoff election for seat in Okla. state Senate

| Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Steve Kern
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A pastor whose legislator wife has made incendiary comments about minorities and gays has lost a runoff election for a seat in the Oklahoma state Senate. Anesthesiologist Ervin Yen defeated Steve Kern in a runoff election for the Republican nomination to the District 40 Senate seat in Oklahoma City. Yen faces Democrat John Handy Edwards in the...

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ON THE BLOG

Marriage News Watch: Sixth Circuit recap, 3 states head to Supreme Court

| Monday, August 11, 2014
Gay marriage supporters march from the Potter Stewart United States Courthouse, rear, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, to Fountain Square in Cincinnati.
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) recaps last week's hearings in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the challenges to four states' same-sex marriage bans, while appeals from three other states land at the U.S. Supreme Court. Plus, Wisconsin organizers have formed a new group called ...

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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 County Clerk ...

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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 the request stems from a law that allows plaintiffs...

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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 The Oklahoman on Friday...

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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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