Gay Marriage In Oklahoma
Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Oklahoma since 2003 when the United States Supreme Court struck down all state sodomy laws with its ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.Oklahoma Gay marriage has been legal since 2014. Manplay.com is where you will learn about the history and statistics of Oklahoma gay marriage today, where it's at and what to expect for the future.
It's always been apparent that gay marriage is not a topic that most government officials want to talk about, but gay couples are here to stay and no longer have to worry about fighting for their lives to have a recognized caring, loving marriage with the one that they love. There has always been a huge push back from religious leaders and followers of god in Oklahoma, especially during the past 10 years as gay marriage has become a battle worth fighting for same-sex couples who want the same rights as their straight counterparts.
History Of Gay Marriage In Oklahoma
Although same-sex activity has been legal in Oklahoma since 2003, it did not become legal for same-sex couples to marry each other in the state until 2014. In 2004, the Oklahoma Senate voted to ban same-sex marriage in November. The constitutional amendments define marriage as being between a man and a woman only. The citizens of Oklahoma believe that they were protecting the integrity of marriage and that is why they were fighting against making same-sex marriage legal in the state. But in October of 2014, after a long 9-year battle, the United States Supreme Court turned down Oklahoma's appeal which reinstates a lower court's ruling that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. After this, the Oklahoma County Court Clerk's Office, as well as others across the state started issuing same-sex couples marriage licenses. But Oklahoma conservative lawmakers were unhappy that they were being forced by U.S. courts to allow gay marriage, so they came up with a religious tactic to stop same-sex weddings by mandating that they must be conducted by clergy. The problem with this new law is that it not only hinders same-sex marriage, but also hinders straight marriage for those that are not religious. Many have dubbed this new bill 'the marriage chaos' bill as it really is forcing a lot of marriage ceremonies back onto judges, retired judges, preachers, ministers,rabbis and ecclesiastical dignitaries. The responsibilities that were once managed by county clerks would have to be done so by these very specific people. Seeing that this bill was in the works, many people applied and completed the paperwork to get his/her minister license so that they could marry same-sex couples. The lawmakers clearly didn't put enough thought into how the bill will work and what it takes to become a registered minister, as it is very vague about what paperwork is actually necessary to be registered in Oklahoma. Those individuals who are supporters of same-sex marriage in Oklahoma were able to 'beat the system' by becoming a minister and therefore still performing same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Oklahoma Gay Marriage Statistics
The acceptance that Gay marriage is legal in Oklahoma is new to the state, so the concept is still controversial. According to a 2012 Gallup Daily Tracking study, Oklahoma has a small percentage of gay, lesbian and bisexual residents at 3.4%. States that have more than 4% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual populations have laws that do not allow for discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. Oklahoma is NOT one of these states. Although Oklahoma became one of the first states to actually ban gay marriage in 2004, the number of same-sex partners who are living together has increased dramatically over the past 10 years according to 2011 US Census figures that have been released. There was a huge surge up to 4 393, a 5% increase in males who said they were living with male partners in 2010. There was also an increase of almost 63% from 53,307 in 2000 to 86,694 in 2010, in the amount of gay and straight respondents who are unmarried and living with their partner. It's interesting to note that 2010 was the first year where gays and lesbians could declare that what kind of relationship they were in, be it that they were married or had an unmarried partner on the Census. It's clear that gay couples are looking for validation. They want to be heard and counted. The increase is mostly likely due to increased awareness and acceptance of gay relationships within the state.
Current Status Of Oklahoma Gay Marriage
Okhlahoma currently legally allows gay marriage, as of October 6, 2014, following the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. It was on this day that the US Supreme Court refused to review the case that found the ban unconstitutional. The federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Oklahoma to recognize all same-sex marriages. Judge Terence C. Kern, from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, ruled that Question 711, banning the recognition or performance of all same-sex marriages are unconstitutional on January 14, 2014. This is when the case, Bishop v. United States, stayed pending appeal. Then the Tenth Circuit panel upheld Judge Kern's ruling that it is unconstitutional to ban same-sex marriage on July 18, 2014. But the ruling was immediately put on hold waiting for a disposition of petition for certiorari by the Supreme Count. Then on October 6, 2014, the request of a review was rejected by the Supreme Court, leaving the previous ruling in place. The Oklahoma government's response was to implement the court ruling and reluctantly recognize same-sex marriages throughout the state. This left a lot of anti-gay supporters angry and looking for new ways to carry on the fight to 'preserve' the scanty of marriage as they know it.
Future Status Of Oklahoma Gay Marriage
State legislatures are preparing anti-gay and lesbian bills as backlash to the Supreme Court's rulings in 2014. Currently, there are approximately 26 different bills in the works that will limit and discriminate against all gay and lesbian couples within Oklahoma. LGBT advocacy groups such as Freedom Oklahoma, are preparing to fight these bills. We can't be sure of the future status of gay marriage in Oklahoma, but it continues to look like there is always going to be pushback from anti-LGBT organizations and individuals. Gay marriage in Oklahoma is legal and it doesn't look like that is going to change anytime soon. Finally, gay couples are allowed to legally marry in all parts of the state of Oklahoma and it seems as though it is here to stay whether the anti-LGBT groups and protesters like it or not. Everyone has their right to put forth a fight to ban these new laws, but it seems as though the Supreme Court has spoken and there aren't going to be changed to gay marriage rights anytime soon. It seems as though that there will continue to be a steady increase in reported households living as gay couples as well as gay marriages within the state of Oklahoma now that same-sex marriage is finally legal in the state. It's time for the anti-LGBT groups to educate and learn more about what it is that they are fighting for. Gay marriage is here to stay in Oklahoma and all groups need to find a way to work together rather than against each other.
The anti-gay groups want to also introduce a bill that would stop all school counsellors, therapists, administrators, and teachers from giving any student guidance and/or information regarding human sexuality without notifying parents first. Basically, this would make it impossible for school officials to keep the confidentiality that most LGBT students are looking for as they would be forced to out the student to their parent(s). This would completely change the dynamic that students and school officials have, as often there is a bond formed where trust is the key factor in this relationship. Essentially all personal relationships would turn into superficial ones quickly and the teacher/student bond that is formed would disappear.