Federal appeals court rules against Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban

Federal appeals court rules against Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] on Friday upheld [opinion, PDF] a ruling striking down Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban. A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in January that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment [text] to the US Constitution. The appeals court based its decision on a similar ruling last month in which it struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban [JURIST report]. The appeals court has placed both rulings on hold pending a possible appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Since the US Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, numerous state and federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Last month a federal judge in Indiana ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Also in June the ACLU challenged Alabama’s same sex marriage ban, days after Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban [JURIST reports] was struck down. In May a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] Pennsylvania’s same sex marriage ban. That followed a similar ruling in Oregon, where a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] that state’s same sex marriage ban as well. Nineteen US states currently allow same-sex marriage, and more than 70 lawsuits are pending in all 31 others.