The Northern District of Oklahoma sits in Tulsa, OK and is in the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. That’s two current rulings for marriage equality in the 10th circuit at this time. As I understand it (IANAL) the 10th Ct. denied Utah’s request for a stay of the Judge’s ruling. Now Utah has appealed to US Supreme Court. I don’t know how this stuff works, and I assume one of our legal eagles can clue us in, but would this ruling, stayed by the Court itself, be bundled with the Utah case at USSC, or merely wait until the ruling from the Supreme Court?
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.
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.
Link to ruling (PDF) here.
Open thread, and we now return you to your regular programming