Same Sex Couples Push Ahead For Right to Be Married in Oklahoma
Two same sex couples fighting for the right to be married in Oklahoma, are moving forward with the Oklahoma Marriage Equality Lawsuit."We love each other. We share a life and home together and we want to be legally in our home state," said Mary Bishop, who is part of the lawsuit.
She and Sharon Baldwin have been together for 17 years. Sue Burton and Gay Phillips have been partners for 29 years. Both are lesbian couples and fighting for the same right to wed.
"People say haven't you wanted to give up on the lawsuit over the years? No way, we would never give up because it is what is right. We are in this for the long haul and we are with the case, too," said Bishop
In January they saw hope when a federal judge ruled that Oklahoma's ban against same sex marriage was unconstitutional. But shortly after, Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith challenged that ruling, stating she wanted a clear answer on the issue as soon as possible.
"The issue could ripen into states rights over federal jurisdiction and it could go all the way to the Supreme Court and that would not surprise me if that didn't happen," said Sally Howe Smith, when interviewed in January.
Local ministers and support groups have submitted briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs, the couples, who have been sharing their stories for the last decade. "While we are able to go to California, and we were able to get married there, Oklahoma will not recognize our marriage which causes us to be strangers in our home state," said Barton.
While there is some uncertainty that comes with this case, the couples are that one day same sex marriage will become legalized in Oklahoma.