The legal group representing the Tulsa
County clerk defending Oklahoma's gay marriage ban announced Friday
it would appeal its appeals court loss to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in
Denver struck down the ban as invalid on July 18, roughly two weeks
after it upheld a lower court's ruling striking down Utah's ban.
Unlike the majority of the dozens of
cases challenging bans across 31 states, Oklahoma's challenge was
filed before the Supreme Court's landmark 2013 ruling striking down a
key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which led to the
federal government's recognition of the legal marriages of gay
Plaintiffs Mary Bishop and Sharon
Baldwin filed their lawsuit shortly after Oklahoma voters in 2004
overwhelmingly (76%) approved Question 711, which defines marriage as
a heterosexual union and prohibits the state from recognizing gay
couples with civil unions.
“Although we aren't surprised by the
Alliance Defending Freedom's decision to appeal our victory from the
10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, neither are we
disappointed,” the couple said.
“We are ready to see the highest
court in the land affirm that marriage equality is the law of the
land. We have confidence in our case and our lawyers, and should the
Supreme Court agree to hear our case, we anticipate a victory there,
as well,” they added.
Federal appeals courts have also
invalidated state marriage bans in Utah and Virginia. Defendants in
those challenges also said they would appeal to the Supreme Court and
skip review by a full appeals court.