New & Noteworthy:

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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Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin blasts court for gay marriage decision

Monday, October 6, 2014
Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gov. Mary Fallin is criticizing the federal courts for allowing gay marriage in Oklahoma, saying the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a violation of states' rights.

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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 lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit against ...

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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 up the matter. The high court's decision effectively means gay marriage...

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U.S. Supreme Court denies review of gay marriage appeals from five states

Monday, October 6, 2014
Supreme-Court
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court turned away appeals Monday from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions. The justices on Monday did not comment in rejecting appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. No other state cases were currently pending ...

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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
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 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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