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READ IT HERE: Opening brief in Oklahoma marriage equality case

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The opening brief in Bishop v. Smith, the challenge to Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban, is here. The brief was filed by Tulsa County Court Clerk Sally Howe Smith, who is defending the ban.

EqualityOnTrial will have a full report later. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for April 17. The case is on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here is the filing, via Kathleen Perrin and Equality Case Files:

14-5003 Appellant's Opening Brief by Equality Case Files

For more information on Bishop v. Smith from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.


  • 1. davep  |  February 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    A hundred and ninety one pages of already-debunked BS. More of the 'channeling procreative potential' nonsense offered as some kind of legitimate states interest. And nothing that shows how denying civil marriage to same sex couples is in any way rationally related to the stated goals they have fabricated.

  • 2. grod  |  February 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Dave, a read of Texas decision( Feb 26) and Kitchen's Reply filing( Feb 25) is recommended before reading Oklahoma's initial filing. While you may be quick is seeing the fault in its reasoning, I confess not being as nimble. 'Genderless marriage', and 'right to same-sex-marriage' babble introduce language that become assumptions on which false arguments are thereafter constructed.

  • 3. Eric  |  February 27, 2014 at 10:26 am

    If they call it genderless, then they are admitting that intermediate scrutiny should apply because of it being a gender issue.

  • 4. davep  |  February 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Aha, good point, Eric!

  • 5. Pat  |  February 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    While we are celebrating our latest court win in Texas, one thing comes to mind.
    Our expected "roadmap" for success was always to try and have as many states as possible gain marriage equality, and that at some point (say, when a majority of states, or a majority of the population has marriage equality), the Supreme Court will no longer be shy to make a grand ruling, since the issue would have had enough 'percolation' in the lower courts and the majority of the country would have marriage equality anyway already. Therefore avoiding the risk of backlash mentioned by Justice Ginsburg.
    The problem is, now that all rulings are systematically stayed pending appeal, it means that we are basically always stuck at 17 states (+DC) until a whole appeal is completed. Therefore, when an appeal reaches the supreme court, it may be denied cert (and bring equality on that circuit) but then if cert is denied for a specific circuit, it's likely to be denied too for other circuits, unless there is a split.
    Therefore it seems that we may face either an incremental gain circuit by circuit (but then if there is no split, what could ultimately make SCOTUS finish the job?) or get a broad SCOTUS ruling right away, even with the number of euquality states still stuck at 17.

  • 6. StraightDave  |  February 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Did Loving create a circuit split, or was it just a decision long overdue? (Legally, I meant, 1960's public opinion be damned)

    I think 3 or 4 circuit decisions and no riots in the streets should be a big enough hint to SCOTUS.

  • 7. Bruno71  |  February 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I think district and circuit court decisions should count as percolation anyway. It's possible the justices would want to see a few more states like Oregon or even Ohio get there through the ballot I suppose.

  • 8. Mike in Baltimore  |  February 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    'Loving' came through the Virginia state court system, not the Federal court system. Thus there was no opportunity for a Circuit split with 'Loving'. (AFAIK, all previous court cases after the California Perez v. Sharp decision in 1948 were in state courts, not Federal courts.)

  • 9. Paul in Minneapolis  |  February 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I wish opponents of marriage equality would stop referring to same-sex marriage as "genderless." Same-sex marriage is no more genderless than a photograph of a blue sky is colorless because there's no green or orange in it. I know what they're trying to say, but they're saying it in a way that's misleading (on purpose, no doubt). My husband and I both have a gender, and our marriage is not genderless!

  • 10. Bruno71  |  February 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    In my opinion, it's one of the most insulting terms they use.

  • 11. Paul in Minneapolis  |  February 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I totally agree. I hope the judges find the term proof of animus!

  • 12. davep  |  February 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    It's just more of the same inflammatory NOM bumper sticker rhetoric, like "protecting marriage". It's all they have.

  • 13. Josh  |  February 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Yea so stupid and that's all they can come up with because there is no real reason to oppose equality other than they don't like it. They're like an older brother who doesn't want to do something if his younger brother gets to do it too.

  • 14. JayJonson  |  February 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Of course, the term is absurd. But it is all they have and they are going to push it as far as they can. They don't really believe it, but it facilitates their belief in a marriage based on "gender complementarity," a phrase they invented just so same-sex couples couldn't qualify for it.

  • 15. StraightDave  |  February 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Yeah, like "gender diversity" in marriage.

    And NO, they got no diversity points from me.

  • 16. Rick O.  |  February 27, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Had the thought it might be helpful if plaintiffs drop trou in court.

  • 17. Sagesse  |  February 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Gov Brewer has just vetoed SB 1062 in Arizona.

  • 18. Fr. Bill  |  February 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Obviously, that was the morally correct thing to do. I admit that part of me wanted to see it go through and the good citizens of Arizona find themselves economically impaled on their own petard of bigotry and malice.

  • 19. StraightDave  |  February 27, 2014 at 8:03 am

    The NFL a few years ago threatened to take the already-scheduled Super Bowl away from Arizona because they refused (on "principle", apparently) to treat MLK Day as a holiday. AZ eventually caved.

    The next SB for the upcoming season is booked for AZ again. Maybe…just maybe….Brewer had one eye on that, too. It's an economic goldmine for host cities.

  • 20. StraightDave  |  February 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    It's nice to see some of the not-stupid, not-paranoid Republicans start to lean a little bit. Brewer was never on my top 10 list to begin with, but she surely must be on some list by now. Anybody who does something in the right direction, especially against their local tide, gets a bit of a nod from me.

  • 21. davep  |  February 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Dang, this has turned out to be one heck of a great day.

  • 22. Ragavendran  |  March 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    The second brief, the response by Bishop et al. was due today and PACER reports that it has been filed (102 pages). Waiting for the EoT team to get hold of it.

  • 23. Equality On TrialREAD IT &hellip  |  August 7, 2014 at 12:39 am

    […] night in Bishop v. Smith, the challenge to Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban. The first one was filed last month by the state of Oklahoma, in defense of the ban. The new brief, filed by the same-sex couples who […]

  • 24. Equality On TrialREAD IT &hellip  |  August 7, 2014 at 1:03 am

    […] first brief was filed by Smith in defense of the ban. The second brief was filed by both sets of plaintiff […]

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