Appeals court ruled Oklahoma must let same-sex couple get marrie - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Appeals court ruled Oklahoma must let same-sex couple get married

Amarillo, TX - An appeals court Friday strikes down on Oklahoma gay marriage ban.

The courts ruling is on hold, pending an appeal, meaning same-sex couples will still not be allowed to marry in Oklahoma for now.

A three judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver came to a 2 to 1 ruling, the same ruling that happened a month ago saying Utah's ban on same- sex marriage violates the constitution. And that was the first time an appellate court determined the Defense of Marriage Act means states can not deny gays the ability to get married.

"The courts and the law recognize that these anti gay marriage bills are not going to work, the law is very clear, the states don't get to do this kind of thing. Is that stopping states from making lines in the sand, from digging and saying we are never going to agree to gay marriage? No, of course not," says Jeff Blackburn, Civil Rights Lawyer.

Right now Texas is one of 31 states that does not recognize same sex marriage. Blackburn believes Texas will soon have an appeals case as early as September or October. "Well there's a case pending now in front of the 5th circuit and you know there not on anybody's time table except their own but I think we will probably see some resolution of this in the fall, I would think that they would probably come out with some decision," says Blackburn.

And in New Mexico, same-sex marriage is legal. You might remember last year during the Christmas holiday the Roosevelt County Clerk and her Chief Deputy resigned. According to the County Manager, they left for "personal reasons" but told Newschannel 10 the County Clerk expressed concerns about the same-sex marriage law going into effect.

Right now, more than 70 lawsuits are pending in all 31 states that have prohibitions.
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