Law
5:26 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Judge's Ruling in Utah Same-Sex Marriage Case May Affect Oklahoma Law

Sharon Baldwin, left, and her partner Mary Bishop, who are plaintiffs in a case challenging Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban.
Credit AP Photo / Brennan Linsley

Oklahoma may be affected by a ruling today on Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a ban on same-sex marriage in Utah today, saying that the ban goes against the 14th Amendment which guarantees due process and equal protection to every person in every State of the Union.

While an Oklahoma case is still pending, the principle involved in the Utah case applies to other states in the circuit, including Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico.

The three-judge panel immediately put on the ruling on hold so it could be appealed, either to the entire 10th Circuit or directly to the nation's highest court.

"May a State of the Union constitutionally deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of the State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry? Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so. We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union. For the reasons stated in this opinion, we affirm."

Today's opinion can be found, in its entirety here.