Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage violates the 14th Amendment, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled Tuesday, according to Tulsa World. The ruling is stayed pending an appeal.
A similar decision struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage last year, but the Supreme Court granted the state's request to halt marriages pending an appeal.
“Judge Kern has come to the conclusion that so many have before him – that the fundamental equality of lesbian and gay couples is guaranteed by the United States Constitution," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a statement.
"With last year’s historic victories at the Supreme Court guiding the way, it is clear that we are on a path to full and equal citizenship for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans," he added. "Equality is not just for the coasts anymore, and today’s news from Oklahoma shows that time has come for fairness and dignity to reach every American in all 50 states.”
The federal government announced last week that it will intervene in Utah and recognize the nuptials of more than 1,000 same-sex couples while the state carries on with its appeal, allowing numerous federal benefits.