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:

  • Freedom Oklahoma is the grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Oklahoma. 
  • The Equality Network is organization based in Oklahoma that lobbies for pro-equality legislation and public policies in the Sooner State. 
  • 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

Plaintiff couples agree: It’s time for SCOTUS to consider marriage case

This week, plaintiff couples in three different marriage cases filed briefs with the United States Supreme Court replying to writs of certiorari from defendants in the cases. In the briefs, the plaintiffs make the case that it's time for the Supreme Court to consider a marriage case.

Defendants in 3 marriage cases will seek review from U.S. Supreme Court

This weekend, the defendants in two marriage cases - out of Oklahoma and Virginia - indicated that they would seek review from the United States Supreme Court in federal appellate rulings in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

10th Circuit rules for freedom in Oklahoma; 2nd federal appellate victory

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.

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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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