Oklahoma spared Utah’s same-sex-marriage-limbo

Oklahoma spared Utah’s same-sex-marriage-limbo

No Supreme Court precedent exists to justify any state or federal court declaring that state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples are invalid under any federal statute or the U.S. Constitution. Yet, two weeks ago JoeForAmerica reported on mischievous liberal Democrat lawyers in Utah, including a few wearing black robes, cognizant of the  U.S. Supreme Court’s holiday-recess and that Sonia Sotomayor was their 10th Circuit’s administrative justice, that conspired to have clerks of court in the state issued marriage licenses to over 1000 same-sex couples before the full court could issue a “stay” of the rogue federal judge’s ruling pending appeal.

There was even less justification for the Utah court, and Associate Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, not to issue an immediate stay for a precedent-setting ruling precisely to prevent there being 1000 couples whose “marriages” may not be deemed valid many months from now.

This week at least, an Oklahoma judge got the message on the latter:

A federal judge in Oklahoma struck down that’s state’s ban on gay marriage Tuesday, declaring that the 10-year-old state constitutional amendment violated equal protection guarantees in the US Constitution. US District Judge Terence Kern’s decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by two lesbian couples challenging the Oklahoma constitutional amendment, which restricts marriage to a union between one man and one woman.

Judge Kern based his ruling on his conclusion that the Oklahoma ban “intentionally discriminates against same-sex couples desiring an Oklahoma marriage license without a legally sufficient justification [for the discrimination].” The judge issued the decision less than a month after a federal judge in Utah struck down a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages in that state. In the Utah case, the judge based the decision on his conclusion that gay men and lesbians have a fundamental right under the US Constitution to marry.

In contrast, Kern’s decision is based on a less ambitious analysis involving equal protection principles – that same-sex couples in Oklahoma cannot be subject to different treatment by the state based in part on moral disapproval of their desire to marry. Also unlike the Utah judge, whose ruling was later stayed by the Supreme Court, Kern issued a stay of his decision pending an expected appeal to the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kern acknowledged that his opinion resides at the cutting edge of the law.

“The Supreme Court has not expressly reached the issue of whether state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage violate the US Constitution,” Kern wrote.

Judge Kern admits what should have prevented him from issuing a precedent-setting opinion (video further below).

Rogue federal judges with no respect for the law have succumbed to what Robert Bork long ago referred to as “the tempting”, in his book by the same name, in which he describes how our American system and the rule of law depend upon judges of character to exercise judicial restraint lest the Constitution mean nothing.

Sadly, the practice continues with federal officials in black robes, recently joined by the nation’s Chief Executive in the White House who stated yesterday that he won’t wait on Congress to address inequality since he has “a phone and a pen” and can issue executive orders.” More on the latter at JoeForAmerica later today.

Oklahoma, like Utah, are very conservative states whose voters, legislature nor state courts have ever legalized same-sex marriage. It is obvious that liberals have become more brazen in their antics to cram gay and lesbian marriages down all of America’s throats.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Mike DeVine

Mike DeVine

Mike DeVine is a former op-ed columnist at the Charlotte Observer and legal editor of The (Decatur) Champion (legal organ of DeKalb County, Georgia). He is currently with the Ruf Law Firm in Atlanta Metro and conservative voice of the Atlanta Times News.


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