Supporters, Opponents Look Ahead Following Gay Marriage Decision
The decision by a federal judge Tuesday to strike down Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage and rule it unconstitutional, left many celebrating and others, voicing disapproval.
While the move is a significant step forward in the push for legalizing same-sex marriage, it may be some time before those marriages can actually become a reality. The state will appeal the decision in the 10th circuit court of appeals, providing a road block for same-sex couples hoping to make their way to the altar.
Attorney and advocacy chair, Mike Redman with Oklahomans for Equality says, legal same-sex marriage in Oklahoma, may not be such a distant possibility. "We could have a decision by later this year. I wouldn't be surprised if we had it by September of this year," Redman said, pointing out that he expects major changes in the near future.
But, supporters of same-sex marriage face an uphill battle in the Sooner State. 75% of Oklahoma voters approved the ban in 2004, defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.
On Wednesday, Tulsa County District Attorney, Tim Harris echoed the views of those voters, saying, "I am hard-pressed to understand how the 14th Amendment trumps the power of the 10th Amendment when the will of the people of Oklahoma have come forward under our state's rights and defined what marriage is."
Redman and his fellow supporters stand by their position, looking ahead with optimism. "It doesn't hurt anybody and it certainly benefits a wide group of individuals who have sought to be married and have longed to be married and now they have the ability to do that. They won't be able to do it in oklahoma yet, but I think that's just a matter of time," he said.
Governor Mary Fallin issued a statement Tuesday, saying that the issue should be left up to state voters, as it was in 2004.