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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The Byron White U.S. Courthouse in Denver, the seat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014
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 > [ Read more → ]
Judge Jerome A. Holmes

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
Sharon Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop are plaintiffs challenging Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage has second appellate court hearing

Thursday, April 17, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
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.

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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? [ Read more → ]
Paula Sophia

Transgender Oklahoma City police officer to seek state House post

Thursday, April 10, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A transgender Oklahoma City police officer who engaged in a legal battle with the department a decade ago has retired from the force and plans to run for an open seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. [ Read more → ]
Nine-year-old Lillian Gutierrez, left, joins her mother, Veronica, both of Denver, in waving placards at a protest outside the Federal Courthouse in downtown Denver on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The protest, sponsored by Support Marriage Equality in Colorado, was held as a federal appeals court weighs inside the Denver courthouse whether to give an important victory to gay couples' right to marry in Utah and Oklahoma.

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
Moore-Okla

Westboro Baptist protesters chased out of Okla. town by unwelcoming residents

Monday, April 7, 2014
MOORE, Okla. -- If members of the Topeka-Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church thought they'd find a friendly reception in nearby Oklahoma, they were mistaken. In fact, when church members brought their "God hates fags" and "God hates America" protest to Moore, Okla., on Sunday, they were met by an unwelcoming, angry crowd. [ Read more → ]
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.

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
Freedom Oklahoma

Okla. same-sex marriage supporters launch public education campaign

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A coalition of same-sex couples and their supporters gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol to launch a statewide campaign intended to teach Oklahomans about marriage equality. [ Read more → ]
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.

Gay couples at center of marriage lawsuit to be honored by Oklahoma ACLU

Saturday, March 29, 2014
NORMAN, Okla. -- The American Civil Liberties Union is honoring two lesbian couples at the center of a potentially landmark gay rights case that challenges the constitutionality of Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
Judge Bill Graves

Court overturns judge’s refusal to allow transgender applicant’s name change

Thursday, March 27, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals has reversed a county judge's refusal to grant a name change to a transgender person. [ Read more → ]
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.

Brief: Okla. gay marriage ban demeans same-sex couples and their children

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma's gay marriage ban demeans same-sex couples and their children by signaling to the world that their relationships are secondary to traditional families, opponents of the state law say in a new legal filing. [ Read more → ]
Okla gay marriage

Response expected in Okla. same-sex marriage case

Monday, March 17, 2014
TULSA, Okla. -- Attorneys for an Oklahoma lesbian couple suing to have their marriage recognized in the state are expected to make a court filing in the case. [ Read more → ]
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.

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

Thursday, March 13, 2014
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. [ Read more → ]
Corbin Aoyagi, a supporters of gay marriage, waves his flag during a rally at the Utah State Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Salt Lake City.

Dozens of supporting briefs filed in Utah, Okla., same-sex marriage cases

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY -- More than 50 groups, organizations and coalitions have weighed in on gay marriage cases in Utah and Oklahoma with supporting court briefs — giving a Denver-based federal appeals court thousands of pages of arguments to consider. [ Read more → ]
For,er U.S. Sens. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.)

Group of current, former GOP lawmakers file brief supporting same-sex marriage

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY — A group of Republicans has come out in support of legalizing gay marriage in Utah and Oklahoma, arguing that allowing same-sex unions is consistent with the Western conservative values of freedom and liberty once championed by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. [ Read more → ]
Alex Brandon, AP

Religious freedom bills: The latest effort to counter advances in marriage equality

Friday, February 28, 2014
WASHINGTON – Religious freedom bills in more than a dozen state legislatures this year mark the latest effort by opponents of same-sex marriage to counter the growing public acceptance of marriage equality, and the momentum of federal court rulings striking down state gay marriage bans. [ Read more → ]
Oklahoma

Oklahoma anti-gay religious freedom bill being redrafted amid Arizona firestorm

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays will be rewritten and likely won't be considered in its current form this legislative session, the measure's House author said Tuesday. The bill (HB... [ Read more → ]
gay-parents

Lawyers in Okla. challenge say same-sex marriage is a detriment to children

Monday, February 24, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY — Lawyers for an Oklahoma clerk who refused to grant a marriage license to a same-sex couple say a federal judge was wrong to overturn the state's voter-approved ban on gay marriages. [ Read more → ]
marriage-south-1

Freedom to Marry launches $1 million marriage equality campaign in U.S. South

Monday, February 24, 2014
NEW YORK – Freedom to Marry, the advocacy campaign to win marriage equality nationwide, on Monday launched a $1 million multi-state campaign to build majority support for marriage in the South. [ Read more → ]
J. Scott Applewhite, APVin Testa of Washington waves a rainbow flag in support of gay rights outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday hoping to hear the court announce decisions in the gay marriage cases.

Battle over same-sex marriage moving rapidly to federal appeals courts

Saturday, February 15, 2014
WASHINGTON -- The overturning of Virginia's same-sex marriage ban places the legal fight over same-sex unions increasingly in the hands of federal appeals courts shaped by President Barack Obama's two election victories. [ Read more → ]
Al-McAffrey

Openly gay Oklahoma state senator to run for U.S. Congress

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY — A Democratic state senator from Oklahoma City says he plans to run for the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford. [ Read more → ]
Gary James

Okla. restaurant owner says he doesn’t serve ‘faggot, freak’ customers

Friday, February 7, 2014
ENID, Okla. – A restaurant in Enid, Okla. is coming under fire for his restaurant policies that critics now say have crossed the line to discrimination. [ Read more → ]
Nevada

Ten attorneys general file brief supporting Nev. same-sex marriage ban

Monday, February 3, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and top law officers from nine other states are fighting a lawsuit challenging Nevada's same-sex marriage ban, arguing no fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists. [ Read more → ]
The Byron White U.S. Courthouse in Denver, the seat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Same panel of judges to hear appeals of Utah, Okla., gay marriage rulings

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
DENVER -- Appeals of same-sex marriage rulings from Utah and Oklahoma will be heard by the same panel of federal judges. [ Read more → ]
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