Federal Appeals Court Rules For Gay Marriage In Oklahoma Case - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Federal Appeals Court Rules For Gay Marriage In Oklahoma Case

Posted: Updated:
Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin
DENVER, Colorado -

A federal appeals court has ruled for the second time that states cannot prevent gay people from getting married.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Friday has found a ban on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma violates the U.S. Constitution. In a Utah case, the court ruled June 25, 2014 that gay couples have a constitutional right to wed.

Court of Appeals opinion

Lower courts struck down Utah and Oklahoma's voter-approved bans in December and January, respectively.

1/17/2014 Related Story Federal Judge In Tulsa Rules Oklahoma Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

January's ruling came nine years after Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin of Tulsa filed a lawsuit against the state.

The rulings are the first at the appellate level since the U.S. Supreme Court changed the legal landscape by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013. They are likely to be appealed to the high court.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin in Tulsa Friday morning reacted to the court's ruling.

"In 2004, voters had an opportunity to decide whether or not to allow same-sex marriage in Oklahoma. Seventy-six percent voted not to, and to instead define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. I was one of the many voters who cast my ballot in favor of traditional marriage.

Today's ruling is another instance of federal courts ignoring the will of the people and trampling on the right of states to govern themselves. In this case, two judges have acted to overturn a law supported by Oklahomans. Their decision will be appealed and, I hope, overturned. As governor, I will continue to fight back against our federal government when it seeks to ignore or change laws written and supported by Oklahomans."

Gay marriage in both states is on hold until appeals are resolved.

A celebration,which is open to the public, will be held at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in downtown Tulsa on Friday at 6 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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