Federal judge rules Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional Peter Snyder at 10:09 AM ET
[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment [text] to the US Constitution. Article II section 35 of the Oklahoma Constitution [text] enacted in 2004 by State Question No. 711 [text, PDF] defines marriage in Oklahoma as "consist[ing] only of the union of one man and one woman." Judge Terence Kern found that the Oklahoma Constitutional Amendment deprives a class of Oklahoma citizens of equal protection of the law, characterizing the ban as "an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit." The decision has been stayed [NYT report] pending an anticipated appeal by the state of Oklahoma to the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website].
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.