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 (ADF), the conservative legal group representing the Tulsa County court clerk, told The Oklahoman on Friday that the clerk will ask Supreme Court justices to review the July 18 decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 10th Circuit upheld a January ruling by U.S. District Judge Terence Kern that the ban violates 14th Amendment guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law.
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Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, the Tulsa County couple who sued the court clerk when she refused to give them a marriage license, issued a joint statement Friday night.
“Although we aren’t surprised by the Alliance Defending Freedom’s decision to appeal our victory from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, neither are we disappointed,” the couple said.
Justices will have at least three same-sex marriage cases to choose from when the high court is back in session in October.
The Oklahoma case, in which the Tenth Circuit ruled that the state’s ban is unconstitutional, will join two other cases at the Supreme Court in the coming weeks: Bostic v. Rainey, a case from Virginia, is headed to the Court, along with Kitchen v. Herbert, from Utah. Petitions are expected to be filed in all three cases within three months.
In addition, at least eleven cases will be heard in appeals courts over the next two months. Six cases are scheduled for arguments in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday; then, two cases will be heard in the Seventh Circuit on August 26.
Following that, the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in three cases on September 8.
Any of those cases could be decided in time for the losing party to file a petition asking the Supreme Court to review the decision.
Last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Supreme Court won’t duck the issue of same-sex marriage the next time a case comes before the court, and she expects the issue to be heard and decided by June 2016, and possibly a year earlier.