October 6, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY –
The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director:
In short order, and not a minute too soon, the State of Oklahoma will begin to license and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples, and one era of discrimination in Oklahoma will be resigned to the history books. We celebrate today’s victory and offer our sincere appreciation for the many allies of equality that have made today possible. As we celebrate, we know that this giant step towards equality must not be the last. We now turn our attention to ensuring that there is not a single jurisdiction in the United States that lawfully discriminates against same-sex couples. And that right here in Oklahoma, we have work to do to ensure that no one is discriminated against by an employer or a landlord for exercising their Constitutionally protected right to marry. However long that next movement may take, we can take comfort in knowing that like marriage equality, true equality marches onward with the progress of society.
The following response is attributable to Brady Henderson, ACLU of Oklahoma Legal Director:
Though today’s order from the U.S. Supreme Court consisted of just eight words, it is life-changing for thousands of Oklahomans. Today is an enormous victory for the simple idea that we should be able to marry who we love rather than who the state tells us to. It is feasible that marriages between couples of the same-sex can go forward as early as today. A sad chapter in our state’s history is now at an end, but there remains much work to be done; true equality is not just about what the law books say, but how we treat one another in everyday life as fellow Oklahomans.
The following is a statement from ACLU National:
NEW YORK – The Supreme Court of the United States today denied review in all of the marriage equality cases pending before it. As a result of the Court’s action, same-sex couples in Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma and Utah will now be able to marry the partners they love. Today’s orders also mean that same-sex marriage will soon become lawful in at least 30 states.
"This is a watershed moment for the entire country. We are one big step closer to the day when all same-sex couples will have the freedom to marry regardless of where they live. The time has come and the country is ready," said James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "This is life-saving news for same-sex couples all across the country. Marriage helps families deal with times of crisis, and the Supreme Court’s action today means more loving and committed couples will have access to the protections that marriage provides."
The ACLU was co-counsel in five of the seven petitions that were denied today, in cases from Indiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The ACLU has been working for the rights of LGBT people since 1936, when it brought its first gay rights case. The organization filed the first freedom-to-marry lawsuit for same-sex couples in 1970, represented Edie Windsor in her successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013, and has filed thirteen federal marriage lawsuits on behalf of same-sex couples since then.
More information on the ACLU’s work to secure marriage equality across the country is available at: https://www.aclu.org/out-freedom
# # #