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Federal judge strikes down Oklahoma ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional

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According to NBC News on Wednesday, Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down Tuesday by a federal judge who declared it a fundamental violation of equal rights.

U.S. District Court Judge Terence Kern said the court would not immediately enforce this ruling -- therefore not opening the doors right away to marriages of gay and lesbian couples in Oklahoma -- pending appeals. Still, he delivered a clear opinion on how the voter-approved Oklahoma state constitutional amendment relates to the U.S. Constitution.

His decision specifically deals with "Part A" of an Oklahoma Constitutional amendment that says, in part, "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman."

"We're pretty elated," Sharon Baldwin, one of the plaintiffs suing to overturn the ban, told NBC station KJRH of Tulsa. "It's been a long time coming."

But Gov. Mary Fallin said she was "disappointed," noting that the restriction was passed by Oklahoma voters nine years ago with 75 percent support.

"I support the right of Oklahoma's voters to govern themselves on this and other policy matters," Fallin said. "I am disappointed in the judge's ruling and troubled that the will of the people has once again been ignored by the federal government."

However, Kern's ruling on Tuesday is not a total victory for the Oklahoma couples. The judge didn't rule in support of their argument challenging Section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act asserting that states shall not "be required" to accept same-sex marriages performed in other states. Nor does it provide any "other relief," such as possible monetary damages, as they'd sought.

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Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.

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©2014 Emily M. Sutherlin. All Rights Reserved.

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