Same-sex couples across Oklahoma began to marry on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up appeals on several same-sex marriage rulings earlier in the day. That action caused the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay on their ruling against the ban on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma.
KOSU’s Ryan LaCroix reports on the couples that jumped at the chance to get married in Oklahoma County on Monday.
Roughly two dozen couples filtered into a crowded Oklahoma County Court Clerk’s office on Monday. Oklahoma County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples early Monday afternoon.
Mary Pavliska and her partner Brandie Hobia have been together since 2011 and are adopting a child together. Mary says although the day has been confusing, she’s happy with the end result.
“I called you about 9 a.m. and said ‘Let’s go!’ Then, we had to wait. Then, we had to wait longer, then I said, ‘Now, we’re really going. Apparently, it’s official now, so we’re going.’ I came to work a Pavliska and I’m leaving a Hobia, so I can’t really complain.”
Another applicant, Kenny Wright, shivered in physical shock because he didn’t believe it was real. His partner of 18 years, Bo Bass, said they wanted to wait and be legally married in Oklahoma.
“We didn’t go to any other state, because we kept waiting for it to be legal here. And…it’s like a dream come true.”
Second in line in Oklahoma County were Jennifer Hasler and her partner of nine years, Karina Tittjung. They said it was tough to watch all their friends get married after college and not be able to participate even though they had been together the longest.
“It feels like validation of our love and just our basic humanness.”
In response to today’s decision, Governor Mary Fallin said in a statement that the will of the people has been overridden and that the rights of Oklahomans had been trampled by an arrogant, out-of-control federal government.
The Supreme Court's action Monday effectively means gay marriage is legal in 30 states.