Oklahoma Gay Marriage Ban Appealed to Supreme Court


Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage, which was overturned last month by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, has now been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This follows on the heels of a similar appeal made by Utah officials on Tuesday concerning their own state's ban on gay marriage. 

The appeal in Oklahoma was filed by lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal counsel representing Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith, who was sued after refusing to grand a marriage license to a gay couple.

The AP reports:

"The 10th Circuit … negated the exercise of this fundamental right (of voting) by more than 1 million Oklahomans and millions of voters in other states," Wednesday's appeal filing stated. "Invalidating the people's voice on an issue as profound as the definition of marriage presents an important question that warrants this court's review."

ADF senior counsel Byron Babione said, "The people of every state should retain the freedom to preserve marriage if they so choose. Courts shouldn't decide the legal destiny of marriage in any state, let alone in every state."

In a joint statement released last Friday, Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, the couple who challenged the gay marriage ban shortly after it was approved overwhelmingly by voters back in 2004, said the following:

“We are ready to see the highest court in the land affirm that marriage equality is the law of the land. We have confidence in our case and our lawyers, and should the Supreme Court agree to hear our case, we anticipate a victory there, as well.”

Read Smith's petition below:

Oklahoma Smith Petition by Equality Case Files 


  1. JJ says

    “Courts shouldn’t decide the legal destiny of marriage in any state, let alone in every state.”

    It’ll be interesting to see if their brief relies on any marriage law precedents after decrying all such precedents.

  2. Gary says

    Is Kitchen v. Herbert the only case properly before SCOTUS? My understanding of American federal law is admittedly shaky, but precedents in Hollingsworth v. Perry, National Organization for Marriage v. Geiger, and Santai-Gaffney v. Whitewood would seem to deny standing to all of the organizations and county clerks trying to defend bans in other states.

  3. Randy says

    These people aren’t too bright.

    They undercut their own argument within the first paragraph:

    “marriage has always existed to steer naturally procreative relationships … Some now seek to move marriage further away from these purposes”

    Wait a minute. “FURTHER”? That implies that marriage ALREADY does NOT exist to steer naturally procreative relationships.

    What these people are trying to do is go back to something that has already been rejected by the courts (notably in Griswold).

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