State prohibition on same-sex marriages found unconstitutional

more+
less-

The last several months have witnessed a flurry of court activity regarding same-sex marriage laws. On Tuesday, January 14, Oklahoma joined that activity with an order and opinion issued by Tulsa’s federal court.

In 2004, Oklahoma voters approved an amendment to Oklahoma’s Constitution defining “marriage” to be exclusively a union between a man and a woman. In some respects, the Oklahoma constitutional amendment tracked the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In June 2013, the U.S Supreme Court found that DOMA’s comparable definition of marriage was unconstitutional. This Tuesday’s ruling in Tulsa held the Oklahoma law’s limitation of marriages to only opposite-sex couples was also unconstitutional and violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Tulsa’s federal court delayed the effect of its ruling until after any appeal.  A Utah federal court reached the same conclusion regarding Utah’s law, and that decision is making its way through an expedited appeal process to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Don’t be surprised if appeals of the Utah and Oklahoma decisions are combined.

Pending appeal, any lasting impact of this week’s decision is uncertain. We will keep you advised of developments for this rapidly changing employment and benefit issue. In the meantime, please be sure to join us for a one-hour complimentary webinar next Wednesday, January 22, titled “After DOMA: Understanding new laws, guidance regarding the treatment of same-sex spouses in the workplace.There is still time to sign up, but registration closes at noon on Tuesday, January 21st.


 


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McAfee & Taft | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

more+
less-

McAfee & Taft on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
×
Loading...
×
×