US federal court: Oklahoma must allow gay couples to marry
A federal appeals court has ruled in favour of same-sex marriage in the US state of Oklahoma, saying that the state should allow gay and lesbian couple to marry.
The ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel was put on hold, but upheld rulings which struck down the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying.
The same court in June also ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex was unconstitutional. Utah was the first state to have a ruling at the state appellate level since the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last Summer.
Both rulings were put on hold by the court, pending appeal. Utah’s attorney general has already said he plans to appeal to the US Supreme Court.
Over 20 courts have issued rulings, all of which have mirrored that of the DOMA case, stating that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Florida was the most recent, as yesterday a court ruled in favour of Monroe County issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples.
It is unclear whether Utah and Oklahoma will be the first to reach the US Supreme Court, as there are other pending lawsuits which the justices could choose from.
According to the Associated Press, the Supreme Court won’t consider a case until 2015.
Attorneys acting on behalf of states argue that voters in the states are able to define marriage where they live. Lawyers for same-sex marriage argue that the fundamental rights of same-sex couples are impeded by the bans.