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Oklahoma’s Ban On Gay Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional

Paul Zimmerman, Getty Images

Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment which bans gay marriage in the Sooner state has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge on Tuesday. This is the latest victory of same-sex rights in the heart of the Bible Belt.

Judge Terence C. Kern of United States District Court for the Northern District of Tulsa, OK wrote in his ruling “The state’s ban on marriage by gay and lesbian couples is an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.”

Kern also wrote in his ruling that the amendment is based on “moral disapproval.”

The decision will not take effect immediately, and Oklahoma is almost certain to appeal, leaving prospects uncertain for gay couples in the state.

The judge also found that his court had no jurisdiction on if the state has to honor same-sex marriage performed in another state.

“Judge Kern has come to the conclusion that so many have before him — that the fundamental equality of lesbian and gay couples is guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, in a statement Tuesday.

Currently 17 states have authorized same-sex marriage through legislation. The number could jump to 18 when the temporary halt on Utah, put on by the United States Supreme Court is lifted. The halt was placed when the Utah state government tried to appeal the decision for same-sex marriages. A small window was open before the halt was put into place, which allow these couples to be legally married.

The Utah government has issued that it will not recognize same-sex couples, to where these couples will not qualify for state benefits. However, Attorney General Eric Holder has stated that the federal government will recognize the marriage and allow same-sex couples to apply for federal benefits on the same terms as other couples.

As the founding fathers has written in the Declaration of Independence during the time the country wished to escape the tyranny of the British monarchy; every American citizen has a right to ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ It is these rights that our ancestors and founders of the country fought for, if same-sex couples wish to get married, let them.

If gay and lesbian couples wish to be happy with the person they love for the rest of their lives, let them. This happiness is guaranteed by our Constitution and was clearly stated in our Declaration of Independence.

What are your thoughts about this ruling and same-sex marriage? Let us know in the comments section below.

[New York Times]

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