US: Appeals court set to hear arguments in Oklahoma gay marriage case

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The same appeals court which last week heard arguments around Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban one week ago is now gearing up to do the same for Oklahoma.

US District Judge Terence Kern in January ruled that the state of Oklahoma’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.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver, will take up the case on Thursday.

Same-sex marriage supporters have noted how conservative the state of Oklahoma is. The decision in Oklahoma was hailed, as it potentially paves the way for similar rulings in other conservative leaning states.

An overwhelmingly large 76% of voters approved a 2004 amendment which states: “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman”.