Main | Friday, August 21, 2009

Still Alive: Oklahoma DOMA Challenge

A lesbian couple in Oklahoma has filed a new federal challenge to DOMA and their state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The couple apparently filed their suit without the consultation of any LGBT group, despite pleas from such organizations that gay couples refrain from acting alone. Duncan Osborne at Gay City News:
The lawsuit has had a troubled history. Filed in 2004, the year Oklahoma amended its state constitution to ban recognition of same-sex marriages, the couples sued the governor, the state attorney general, and the federal government. A district court allowed the suit to proceed, but the state appealed that ruling in 2007. In a decision in June of this year, a three-judge appeals panel reversed the lower court and dismissed the case against the governor and attorney general.

Marriage licenses in Oklahoma are issued by court clerks who work for Oklahoma’s judicial branch of government, not the executive branch. The 2004 amendment made it a misdemeanor to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, but that law, if enforced by the attorney general, would apply to a court clerk, not the couple requesting the license. “The alleged injury to the Couples could not be caused by any action of the [governor and attorney general], nor would an injunction (tellingly, not requested here) against them give the Couples the legal status they seek,” the panel wrote. In their amended complaint, the couples sued the court clerk in Tulsa County and the federal government.

Labels: , , , ,

comments powered by Disqus