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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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Marriage News Watch: Supreme Court to conference on same-sex marriage cases

| Monday, September 29, 2014
marriage-supreme-court
This is the week when the U.S. Supreme Court meets to decide whether to take a marriage case. After meeting in conference on Monday, the Justices will announce their decision next week, on October 6th. Currently, cases from Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah and Oklahoma are ready for consideration. The court could take one case, or several, or none at all.

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Marriage News Watch: Supreme Court to consider cases, Ninth Circuit recap

| Monday, September 15, 2014
Gay rights advocates Stuart Gaffney, at left, and John Lewis, with the group Marriage Equality USA, wait to enter a hearing on the issue of gay marriage outside of the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in San Francisco. For the first time since it declared California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, the federal appeals court in San Francisco is readying to hear arguments over same-sex weddings in a political and legal climate that's vastly different than when it overturned Proposition 8 in 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The number of marriage cases before the Supreme Court keeps climbing, with the Court scheduled to decide which ones to take in just a few weeks. Plus, couples file new briefs in Texas, and appeal last week's anti-gay ruling from a federal judge in Louisiana. These stories and more in this week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the ...

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Marriage News Watch: 7th Circuit recap, NOM not giving up in Oregon

| Monday, September 1, 2014
The child of a same sex couple sits next to a protest sign during the court hearing on same-sex marriage in Miami on July 2, 2014.
Anti-gay attorneys took a beating before the Seventh Circuit last week, trying and failing to defend marriage bans before a panel of hostile judges. Now all eyes are on the Supreme Court to see which cases they'll take up in their fall session. There's another major marriage argument coming up in a few days. And the National Organization for Marriage still isn't ...

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Transgender candidate misses making Oklahoma history by 22 votes

| Friday, August 29, 2014
Paula-Sophia
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A former Oklahoma City police officer who sought to become the state's first transgender lawmaker has conceded defeat in the Democratic primary runoff for a seat in the state House of Representatives. Paula Sophia lost the runoff by a razor thin margin of only 22 votes.

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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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