10th Circuit rules for freedom in Oklahoma; 2nd federal appellate victory
July 18, 2014
Today the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in favor of same-sex couples’ freedom to marry, upholding a marriage ruling out of Oklahoma in January. It is the second ruling by a federal appellate court since last year's victory in the Supreme Court and, unless reversed, will pave the way for the freedom to marry throughout the 10th Circuit, including in Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas. Last month, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of marriage in a Utah case, Kitchen v. Herbert.
The ruling is stayed pending further action, which could include an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The state of Utah has already said that it will ask the United States Supreme Court to review its case, which received a ruling from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals last month.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
Today’s ruling arises out of the oldest active marriage case in the country, filed in Oklahoma ten years ago; and follows more than two dozen favorable rulings for marriage in the past year. The legal consensus is clear: marriage discrimination is unconstitutional and inflicts concrete harms on committed gay and lesbian couples and their families. From the heart of the Southwest and as far as the Mountain West, the federal rulings from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals from Oklahoma and Utah affirm that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry. It is time for the Supreme Court to end this patchwork of discrimination and bring our country to national resolution as soon as possible.
The decision is in Bishop v. Smith, brought by counsel from Holladay & Chilton PLLC and Joseph T. Thai., on behalf of two same-sex couples. Meet the plaintiffs HERE.
Currently, 44% of Americans live in states where gay couples share in the freedom to marry: 19 states and the District of Columbia. Recent polling by the Washington Post/ABC News shows 59% of Americans support marriage, including a majority of young evangelicals and Republicans under 45 in other polls.