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Supreme Court rulings could affect Oklahoma ban on gay marriage

This year, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make groundbreaking decisions about gay marriage in America. The court's rulings could affect Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Staff Writer Modified: March 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm •  Published: March 26, 2013

The court strikes down Proposition 8: All states, including Oklahoma, would have to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The court dismisses the Proposition 8 case: Debate has arisen about whether those defending the proposition have legal standing to do so. The court could dismiss the case, saying the law must be defended by the state of California, not those who support it on moral or ideological grounds. The issue would likely not appear before the court again for a few years.

What happens after the court rules?

Any ruling would go into effect immediately, Thai said, but there are exceptions. Sometimes the court grants leeway for implementing rules, such as in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, he said. Thai said he doubts leeway would be given in this case.

“When the Supreme Court decided that the Constitution prohibits states from denying mixed-race couples the right to marry, there was no fudging of when the decision would take effect,” Thai said. “It was immediate. If the Court were to decide that the Constitution likewise prohibits states from denying same-sex couples the right to marry, the decision would also likely have immediate legal effect.”

If federal law allows gay couples to marry, Oklahoma's ban would be invalid, Thai said. However, the law would likely stay on the books, even though it wouldn't have any legal sway.

Carrie Coppernoll, Staff Writer

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