FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kindt Myers/405.808.6398
A STATEMENT FROM OKC PRIDE PRESIDENT KINDT STEVEN MYERS ON TODAY’S 10TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULING
Oklahoma City, OK, March 26, 2021 – Kindt Steven Myers, president of OKC Pride, said today’s federal appeals court ruling that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional is a major victory not just for Oklahoma’s LBGT community, but for the state and the nation.
“Everyone who has ever wanted to make a legally recognized commitment to the person they love, but was told they can’t, should be celebrating today,” Myers said. “While this ruling is not the final step in Oklahoma’s marriage equality struggle, it is a significant one, a giant leap forward for equal rights in Oklahoma and the United States.”
While the July 18 federal ruling is on hold pending appeal, Myers said this benchmark decision is the result of the work of many Oklahomans, not the least of whom are Mary Bishop, Sharon Baldwin, Susan Barton and Gay Phillips, the plaintiffs in Oklahoma’s marriage equality lawsuit. The four also served as the grand marshals at this year’s OKC Pride Parade.
“The battle for marriage equality is being fought on many fronts,” he said, “but these four women and their legal teams have been struggling for a decade to ensure they have the same rights and opportunities all citizens should enjoy. They are Oklahoma heroes.”
There will always be people who don’t see eye-to-eye on the issue of same-sex marriage, Myers said.
“Everyone has the right to their beliefs, but at no point should those beliefs infringe on the rights or liberties of another,” Myers said. “Although the appeal process may take time, marriage equality will be the law of the land.”
Note to editors:
On Nov. 3, 2004, Oklahoma voters approved a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage in the state to opposite-gender couples. On Nov. 4, two Tulsa-area lesbian couples — Mary Bishop & Sharon Baldwin and Sue Barton & Gay Phillips — sued the state and federal governments for the right to marry and for recognition of the marriages of same-gender couples.
In the years since then, Sue and Gay have gotten married in both Canada and California. Together 29 years, they are now fighting for the right to have their marriage recognized by the state of Oklahoma. Mary and Sharon, who have been together 17 years, are still fighting for the right to marry in Oklahoma.
On January 14th, 2014, a U.S. Senior District Judge ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling was immediately stayed, pending appeal.
OKC Pride Inc. is a 501 (c)3 non-profit, funded by community donations, membership dues and business sponsorship.