Appeals Court Overturns Oklahoma’s Ban on Gay Marriage

Jul 18, 2014
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DENVER — A federal appeals court here on Friday struck down a second conservative-leaning state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that Oklahoma could not deny gay couples their “fundamental right” to wed.

Appeals Court Overturns Oklahoma's Ban on Gay Marriage

Plaintiffs challenging Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban in April. Credit Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

The 2-to-1 decision voiding Oklahoma’s ban on gay marriage came less than a month after the same panel of judges for the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit decided that Utah’s ban was unconstitutional. It was another legal victory for gay couples as a range of legal challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage edges toward the United States Supreme Court.

In a related development Friday, the Supreme Court said Utah is not required to recognize the marriages of about 1,000 same-sex couples there while state officials pursue appeals.

Lawyers for the Tulsa County court clerk, who was the lead defendant in the Oklahoma case, argued that limiting marriage to one man and one woman sought to reinforce traditional family bonds and encourage the raising of children by their biological parents. The majority rejected that view.

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