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Court rules for gay marriage in Oklahoma case


By Nicholas Riccardi
DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court on Friday ruled Oklahoma must allow gay couples to wed, marking the second time it has found the U.S. Constitution protects same-sex marriage.

The decision from a three-judge panel in Denver upholds rulings that struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban.

The 2-1 ruling comes after the same panel ruled June 25 that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution. It was the first time an appellate court determined last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act means states cannot deny gays the ability to wed.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel put its Oklahoma and Utah rulings on hold pending an appeal. Utah's attorney general has said he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Gay marriage in the two states will remain on hold.

Still, the decisions give increased momentum to a legal cause that has compiled an impressive string of lower court victories. More than 20 courts have issued rulings siding with gay marriage advocates since the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling in June 2013. The rulings have come in 17 states, with Florida being the latest.

Two of the most striking of those decisions were in conservative Utah and Oklahoma, which saw their voter-approved gay marriage bans struck down in December and January, respectively. In Utah, more than 1,000 same-sex couples married before the Supreme Court issued a stay.

It's unclear whether the two cases will be the first to reach the Supreme Court. The high court could choose from cases moving through five other federal appellate courts, and it won't consider a case until next year at the earliest.

Attorneys representing Utah and Oklahoma argued voters have the right to define marriage in their states, and unions between a man and woman are best for children.

Gay rights lawyers countered that voters cannot define marriage in a way that deprives gay people of their fundamental rights, and say there is no proof that gay couples make inferior parents.

Ten years ago, nearly a dozen states outlawed gay marriage. Now same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and recent polls show a majority of Americans support it.

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oldfa85 July 18 2014 at 1:39 PM

ALL PEOPLE FOR SAME SEX MARRIAGES SHOULD SET DOWN A READ THE BIBLE . YOU ARE ALL GOING AGAINST IT.

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Edwin July 18 2014 at 5:52 PM

Same gender couples don't have a right to marry because God created the institution of marriage, and God says practicing homosexuality is wrong. If God won't recognize or accept it, why should we? This is very serious. Gay marriage should not be supported or praised. It should be condemned for the abomination it is.

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1 reply
Steve Edwin July 20 2014 at 3:53 AM

You have the right not to recognize it if you wish. But God did not create the State, and the State will recognize it. If you are so against it, then you have the right to move out. Bye!

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Pastor Dean July 18 2014 at 10:54 PM

So sad that 2 judges can change the will of free people in another state.

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1 reply
Steve Pastor Dean July 20 2014 at 3:50 AM

Too bad and so sad some people seem to think a popular vote can deprive others of their rights. The court has decided otherwise. Get used to it.

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Ruth July 19 2014 at 5:03 PM

Adding to this dilemma, when in military same sex so called marriages, get benefits of true married man and women. .It takes away from those who truly deserve.

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1 reply
Steve Ruth July 20 2014 at 3:56 AM

How so? Prove your statement that it takes anything away from others. More importantly, you imply that gay military members do not truly deserve anything--why is that? Maybe it is actually YOU who is not truly deserving of anything.

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mhwyman7 July 19 2014 at 2:57 PM

What recent poll?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
veterian74 July 19 2014 at 12:14 PM

I thought a democracy was determined by the voters? Now it is ruled by judges!

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wla2000 July 19 2014 at 10:23 AM

And Oklahomans thought earthquakes were a problem?

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wla2000 July 19 2014 at 10:22 AM

ronically, those 'free willed' people wish to restrict the free will of others.

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Jonathan July 18 2014 at 6:20 PM

True liberty is having the power to serve the Lord acceptably that one not heap up wrath against oneself in the expression of one's own "liberty." Jesus said the one who sins is the servant of sin, and the sevant does not abide in the house forever. If He, being the Son, therefore makes you free, you shall be free indeed, as the Son, is able to re-make us to become God's children, that we may be empowered to abide in His house eternally. Civil rights, fine, but homosexuals cannot enter heaven. Consider your way, and realize your precarious position-repent and believe the good news-Jesus will beautify the meek with salvation.

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Ruth July 19 2014 at 5:10 PM

"Fray" is a reference to battle. By "Going back into the fray" you are saying that you are going back to do something hard and difficult, but something you know

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