Judge rules same-sex marriage ban in Oklahoma unconstitutional - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Judge rules same-sex marriage ban in Oklahoma unconstitutional

Posted:
  • Texoma HeadlinesMore>>

  • Summit Held To Teach Local Veterans About Possible Benefits

    Summit Held To Teach Local Veterans About Possible Benefits

    DURANT, OK -- Today more than 60 Texoma veterans ventured out to the Choctaw casino to learn about what benefits they could be missing out on. The Southern Plains Region Veterans More >>
    DURANT, OK -- Today more than 60 Texoma veterans ventured out to the Choctaw casino to learn about what benefits they could be missing out on. The Southern Plains Region Veterans More >>
  • Authorities Search For Man They Say Assaulted A Denison Officer

    Authorities Search For Man They Say Assaulted A Denison Officer

    BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- A man police say assaulted an officer is on the lose right now in Cartwright, Oklahoma. Police say the man sped off when a Denison officer tried to get him out of his truck during More >>
    BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- A man police say assaulted an officer is on the lose right now in Cartwright, Oklahoma. Police say the man sped off when a Denison officer tried to get him out of his truck during More >>
  • Kingston Man Arrested After Allegedly Starving Puppy To Death

    Kingston Man Arrested After Allegedly Starving Puppy To Death

    KINGSTON, OK -- A Marshall County man is facing a felony charge after prosecutors say he mistreated puppies, which eventually killed one of them.More >>
    KINGSTON, OK -- A Marshall County man is facing a felony charge after prosecutors say he mistreated puppies, which eventually killed one of them.
    More >>
Tulsa, Ok -

 (AP) - In striking down Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage, U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern described it as "an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit."


"Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed," Kern's 68-page decision says. "It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights.

Tulsa couple Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin had filed the Oklahoma lawsuit along with another same-sex couple in November 2004, shortly after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly passed the constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in the state. The couples were seeking the right to marry and to have a marriage from another jurisdiction recognized in Oklahoma.

"The Bishop couple has been in a loving, committed relationships for many years," the judge said. "They own property together, wish to retire together, wish to make medical decisions for one another, and wish to be recognized as a married couple with all its attendant rights and responsibilities."

But Oklahoma's constitutional amendment "excludes the Bishop couple, and all otherwise eligible same-sex couples, from this privilege without a legally sufficient justification," Kern said.