US: Judge throws out Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban

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US: Judge throws out Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban Empty US: Judge throws out Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:24 am

A judge has ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in the US state of Oklahoma is unconstitutional.
US District Judge Terrence Kern ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying violated the US Constitution.
Arguing both the right to marry, and the right to have out-of-state same-sex marriages recognised, the lawsuit under which the ruling was made was filed by two same-sex couples.
The ruling effectively made a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment void, however does not take effect immediately, as Judge Kern put a stay on the ruling pending a state appeal against it.
An overwhelmingly large 76% of voters approved the amendment which said: “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman”.
This stay mirrors recent events in the state of Utah, where a District Judge made a similar ruling, but a stay was put on the ruling pending appeal from the state.
Between 20 December and 6 January, some 1,300 couples married in the state as a US District Judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violated the state’s constitution.
The US Supreme Court last Monday put a stay on equal marriage in the US state of Utah, forbidding same-sex couples from being issued with marriage licences in the state during an appeal against a ruling to allow them.
The Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes advised Governor Gary Herbert that marriages between gay couples who married in that short period should not be recognised by the state for benefits purposes.
US Attorney General Eric Holder has since responded to calls to say Utah married same-sex couples would be treated as married by the federal government, despite a directive from the state Governor that they would not.
The decision in Oklahoma has been hailed, as it potentially paves the way for similar rulings in other conservative leaning states.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said: “Equality is not just for the coasts anymore. Today’s news from Oklahoma shows that time has come for fairness and dignity to reach every American in all 50 states.”

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/01/15/us-judge-throws-out-oklahoma-same-sex-marriage-

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US: Judge throws out Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban Empty Re: US: Judge throws out Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban

Post by Original Quill on Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:41 am

A federal judge, note. It's happening all over, because that is now the federal law.

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Post by Ben Reilly on Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:42 am

Yep! It's still going to be a while before the appeals are all done, but I predict we're going to see these laws toppling like dominoes before long :D

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Post by Original Quill on Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:09 am

Well, the S.Ct. was equivocal, striking down the California ruling because it was not appealed by a proper party with standing. But the real truth is, the lower court ruling found an unmitigated violation of equal protection in the law.

There's no getting around that. Thus, CJ Roberts had to rule that gay marriages were proper. Now, courts are just going to the district court ruling and taking the logic from there.

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Post by Ben Reilly on Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:45 pm

Yeah, I mean -- if this can happen in Utah and Oklahoma, it can happen anywhere in the U.S. It really changes the equation of how we used to view the state-by-state battle for marriage equality.

Used to be that (and I'm saying this for the benefit of non-Americans) we figured the most liberal states would be the first to instate marriage equality, and it would be decades or even generations before the hard-core conservative states would follow suit. With the possible exception of Iowa, that's how it looked to be going.

Now it honestly wouldn't surprise me to see same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states by the end of the decade.

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Post by Original Quill on Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:12 pm

Really, we owe it all to Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Court case that first legalized same-sex marriage.  I wrote my Masters thesis on Equal Protection law, and I followed this case closely.  The State (MA) and Federal Equal Protection Clause are identical, so they followed the analysis of Federal law, using the relaxed scrutiny test (any reasonable basis), still finding no justification for outlawing same-sex marriage.

The most powerful federal opinion was written by United States District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, in San Francisco, the In re Marriage Cases.  That is the case that went to the Supreme Court.  It is a monument to equal protection analysis.

Like it or not, there is simply no valid justification for denying same-sex marriage. It's nobody's business.

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