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Couple seek ruling on Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban

The attorney representing the couple that challenged the Oklahoma law nine years ago filed a motion trying to prod the U.S. district judge into deciding whether the marriage ban is unconstitutional.
by Chris Casteel Published: October 31, 2013

— The attorney for a lesbian couple challenging Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage is trying to prod a federal judge into making a decision in the long-running case.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Norman attorney Don G. Holladay told U.S. District Judge Terence C. Kern that his clients have claimed unequal protection and treatment and want the court “to vindicate constitutionally protected rights.”

“Under such circumstances, resolution of these claims should not be postponed indefinitely,'' Holladay wrote.

Because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, Kern actually has fewer issues — and fewer parties — before him in the Oklahoma case. Still, Holladay noted to the judge on Tuesday, the Oklahoma case has been either on hold or under advisement for more than two years.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Tulsa nearly nine years ago, a day after Oklahoma voters approved a state ballot question to ban same-sex marriage.

Mary Bishop and her partner, Sharon Baldwin, challenged the state question. Susan G. Barton and Gay E. Phillips challenged two sections of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples and allowed states not to recognize gay marriages from other states.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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