Americans for Marriage Equality

State ResourcesOklahoma

Status: Marriage equality.

In Bishop v. United States, two same-sex couples filed suit in federal court challenging Oklahoma’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. On January 14, a trial judge ruled on behalf of the plaintiffs, declaring the ban unconstitutional. The state appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Oral arguments in this case were held April 17, 2014. On July 18, the Tenth Circuit issued a ruling that affirmed the lower court decision to strike down Oklahoma’s ban on marriage equality. The 2-1 decision was authored by Judge Carlos Lucero, who was joined by Judge Jerome Holmes – a President George W. Bush appointee.

Oklahoma state officials petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States for writ of certiorari, requesting that the nation’s highest court take up the case and decide the issue of marriage nationwide once and for all.  

On October 6th, the U.S. Supreme Court denied cert to all marriage equality cases pending review, including Oklahoma’s Bishop case. This action immediately extended marriage equality to the state, and couples were able to start marrying right away.