Federal judge strikes down Oklahoma ban restricting marriage

01/14/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Oklahoma – A federal judge has struck down a 2004 gay marriage ban in Oklahoma citing it as “arbitrary” and “irrational.” As reported by The Christian Science Monitor, US District Judge Terence Kern made the ruling in response to a lawsuit filed by two lesbian couples who challenged the state’s constitutional amendment restricting a marital union to being between one man and one woman.

The judge is quoted as concluding in the decision that the 10-year-old ban, “intentionally discriminates against same-sex couples desiring an Oklahoma marriage license without a legally sufficient justification [for the discrimination].”

As noted in the report, the decision comes less than a month after a federal judge in Utah moved to strike down a constitutional ban on marriages between same-sex couples in the state.

A stay of his decision was issued by Kern pending an appeal to the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals. Kern is further quoted as writing in his decision, “The Supreme Court has not expressly reached the issue of whether state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage violate the US Constitution.

“However, Supreme Court law now prohibits states from passing laws that are born of animosity against homosexuals, extends constitutional protection to the moral and sexual choices of homosexuals, and prohibits the federal government from treating opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages differently.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Oklahoma Legal News

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