A coalition of same-sex couples and their supporters gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol to launch a statewide campaign intended to teach Oklahomans about marriage equality.
The public education campaign, called Freedom Oklahoma, comes the same month that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is set to hear a case regarding the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.
“We must remember that freedom means freedom for everyone,” said Troy Stevenson, executive director of The Equality Network.
The coalition is made up of same-sex couples, their families, religious leaders, parents of gay individuals and advocates for marriage equality. The campaign is a project of The Equality Network, a statewide organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and will hold various events throughout the state.
Kim McDonald and Rebeka Radcliff, of Tulsa, had to travel out of state to marry, and Kim’s mother was unable to witness the nuptials because of a recent cancer diagnosis. The two are raising an infant son, Jordan, and Radcliff said they do not want to raise their son in a state that does not recognize them as family.
“We have to think twice about things most married people take for granted, like filling out a school form or visiting the doctor’s office,” Radcliff said as McDonald held their young son at the campaign launch event.
McDonald said the two were born in Oklahoma and raised in the state’s schools and churches. They want to remain in the state with their marriage recognized.