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Oklahoma Gays: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere

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Since Tuesday's ruling, social media websites have been lit up with pictures of equality symbols placed inside outline maps of Oklahoma. Since Tuesday's ruling, social media websites have been lit up with pictures of equality symbols placed inside outline maps of Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Gay Oklahomans say if it can happen here -- it can happen anywhere. Reaction is pouring in over the decision to declare Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Since Tuesday's ruling, social media websites have been lit up with pictures of equality symbols placed inside outline maps of Oklahoma. Activists say U.S. District Judge Terence Kern's decision is a giant step forward for Oklahoma gay rights.

"The thought that [my partner and I] might be able to have a legal ceremony here in Oklahoma is wonderful," David Frizzell of Oklahoma City said.

Frizzell and his partner, Chuck Longacre, have been partners for years, with plans on getting married in New York. Those plans have now been placed on hold thanks to the fight of Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin. They sued Oklahoma after a 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

"A great deal has happened in the last ten years," said Exec. Director Scott Hamilton with Cimarron Alliance Equality Center.

Gay rights supporters say Oklahoma voters have changed in the last decade. State Rep. Sally Kern agrees but says not enough. Kern is one of the loudest critics on gay rights, calling homosexuality a "human wrong." The Oklahoma City Republican is considered a polarizing figure who continues to be strong politician in Oklahoma.

"Homosexuals are saying this is who we are, this is how we're born," said Kern. "You tell a lie long enough, people begin to believe it. Blacks have a hard time believing that homosexuality is a civil right."

Hamilton says Oklahoma has a long way to go, but stresses that rights are not decided by the majority -- they are guaranteed to all of us under the Constitution. Outside of tribal land, same-sex marriages will not be performed in Oklahoma until the state's current case or a similar case runs its course through the appeals process.

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