Via press release from the Human Rights Campaign:
Today U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. His ruling is stayed pending appeal, meaning marriages will not occur immediately in the Sooner State. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
“Judge Kern has come to the conclusion that so many have before him – that the fundamental equality of lesbian and gay couples is guaranteed by the United States Constitution. With last year’s historic victories at the Supreme Court guiding the way, it is clear that we are on a path to full and equal citizenship for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Equality is not just for the coasts anymore, and today’s news from Oklahoma shows that time has come for fairness and dignity to reach every American in all 50 states.”
Two plaintiff couples, Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin and Gay Phillips and Susan Barton, filed their case, Bishop v. Oklahoma, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma in November 2004. Lead counsel in the case are Don Holladay and James Warner of the Oklahoma City law firm Holladay & Chilton PLLC.
UPDATE: Freedom To Marry reacts.
This is a tremendous day for loving and committed same-sex couples and their families in Oklahoma, building on the momentum of eight other states that ended their restrictions on marriage for same-sex couples in 2013. The federal district judge has done the right thing by affirming that marriage is a fundamental freedom for all people, gay and non-gay – for all of us who believe in liberty and fairness. As the case makes its way up through the courts, we will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory when the Supreme Court eventually takes the freedom to marry case that brings national resolution. The momentum for the freedom to marry will continue as we win more hearts and minds, working to bring the freedom to marry throughout the country.
UPDATE II: Read the court’s ruling.