Oklahoma

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; a federal judge has ruled that the amendment is unconstitutional, and the decision is now on appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, with the ruling stayed.

WHAT'S HAPPENING: 

On January 14, 2014, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled that laws in Oklahoma prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying are unconstitutional. The federal judge also issued a stay on the ruling pending appeal, so same-sex couples were not immediately allowed to receive marriage licenses.

The ruling was in Bishop v. United States, filed by private lawyers on behalf of two same-sex couples - one seeking the freedom to marry and another seeking respect for their out-of-state marriage. Read more about marriage litigation in Oklahoma

As the case makes its way up through the courts, Oklahomans across the state will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory.

HISTORY:

In 2004, anti-gay forces in Oklahoma pushed through State Question 711, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status. 

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • Oklahomans for Equality is an organization seeking equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families through advocacy, education, programs, alliances, and the operation of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 6,134 same-sex couples are living in Oklahoma, representing 4.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to Oklahoma

Q&A: What’s Happening with Marriage in the Courts?

Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson describes the dynamic litigation landscape and explains how all Americans can do their part in creating the climate for these courts - including the U.S. Supreme Court - to rule in favor of marriage nationwide as soon as possible.

THURSDAY: 10th Circuit Appeals Court hears argument in Oklahoma marriage case

This week, on Thursday, April 17, the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver will hear oral arguments in Bishop v. Smith, a federal lawsuit that seeks the freedom to marry in Oklahoma.

Litigation Round-Up: Where marriage cases stand in the federal appellate courts

After today's great victory in Ohio, it's a good time to check in on the state of marriage litigation across the country. In nine states, marriage litigation is currently pending at the federal appellate level in five different Circuit Courts.

See All »

Resources Related to Oklahoma

The Pathway Forward

Momentum for the freedom to marry continues to build. And it’s clear from the past few weeks the path ahead is dynamic and full of flashpoints, including in some of the more conservative parts of the country. This memo looks at what the recent Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah court victories—and others potentially soon to come—mean in the context of our overall strategy to win the freedom to marry nationwide.

Oklahoma Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Oklahoma.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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