US judge: States cannot ‘trample constitutional rights’ with straight marriage definitions

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A judge in a US federal appeals court looking at the state of Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban has said states should not define marriage in a way which “tramples constitutional rights.”

Judge Holmes, one of three judges at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on Thursday on the state’s ban.

His questioning has been hailed by same-sex marriage advocates as a good sign.

Whatever is ruled at the 10th Circuit is expected to be appealed, and the case is expected to go to the US Supreme Court.

The same appeals court which last week heard arguments around Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban is now going through the same process 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.

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”.