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READ IT HERE: Third brief in Oklahoma marriage equality case

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The third brief in Bishop v. Smith, the challenge to Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban, has been filed. To recap: this case involves an appeal and a cross-appeal. The district court ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in the state is unconstitutional, but also that one couple who challenged the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state had no Article III standing to bring that challenge. So in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the defendant, Tulsa County Court Clerk Sally Howe Smith, filed her appeal of the ruling in favor of the same-sex couples, while the one plaintiff couple appealed the judgment that they lack standing.

The first brief was filed by Smith in defense of the ban. The second brief was filed by both sets of plaintiff couples: the couple who was successful in district court in getting the ban struck down replied to Smith’s first brief, while the second plaintiff couple addressed their opening arguments against the ruling that they lack standing.

This third brief, filed by Smith, addresses both aspects of the ban. The brief argues that the district court should have upheld the ban, and that the second plaintiff couple does indeed lack standing.

Smith is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

You can read the brief here, via Kathleen Perrin and Equality Case Files:

14-5003 #2589 – Smith 3rd Brief by Equality Case Files

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


  • 1. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  April 2, 2014 at 8:40 am

    […] USA, Oklahoma: A third brief has been filed in the marriage equality case. full story […]

  • 2. sfbob  |  April 2, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Looks like it was written by the same crew that wrote the latest brief in Bostic vs Schaefer. Even the table of contents reads the same.

  • 3. Rose  |  April 2, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I totally agree….at first I thought I was reading a brief from the State of Utah…….and if that's the case, both State will lose because they both use the same argument that has failed MANY times before!!!

  • 4. Lee  |  April 2, 2014 at 9:10 am

    A "2 fer 1" deal on briefs. Probably figure if they win on the Utah case, the same 3 judge panel will rule in their favor in the OK trial.

  • 5. Rose  |  April 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Well, if they are going to use the same briefs……hopefully when the ruling goes against them….they WON'T be to surprised……!!!

  • 6. Dr. Z  |  April 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    They prolly just picked up a 12-pack of extra-large briefs at Costco. Tightey whitey, of course.

  • 7. JimT  |  April 3, 2014 at 3:46 am

    lol The briefs might have been better if they had picked up the magic underwear.

  • 8. ragefirewolf  |  April 2, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Can someone please remind me of the timeline for this case? When is everything due?

  • 9. RCChicago  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Per Freedom to Marry: The state's appeal of the ruling is currently being fast-tracked, with all briefs in the case due to be filed by March 4, 2014. Oral arguments in the case, which will be heard by a 3-judge panel from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, have been scheduled for April 10.

  • 10. Rick O.  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:28 am

    April 10 is Utah at the 10th Circuit, Oklahoma is the 17th. Think it's same 3 judges.

  • 11. ragefirewolf  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I'm sorry, Rick. I may have downvoted your comment by mistake. Thank you for clarifying.

  • 12. Robert  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Well, ADF is the worst legal association on the planet – including everyone who ever represented themselves. Is anyone surprised at this cut and paste job?

  • 13. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:09 am

    All they can do is rehash the same arguments, although now any citations to Regnerus will ring more hollow than usual.

  • 14. RCChicago  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Did they clarify how keeping marriage away from the gay community will ensure that more children will be raised by a mother and a father in stable households? Curiously enough, it hasn't worked so far, given the changing demographics of families nationwide—not to mention in Oklahoma—before marriage equality was even an issue. But maybe I'm missing something…

  • 15. Steve  |  April 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Why bother writing anything new? It's not like they have any new arguments. So cut and paste makes perfect sense.

  • 16. davep  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Looks like the state of Michigan is getting some "help" arguing their case that they really do not want, from a bunch of white 'supremacists' :

  • 17. davep  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:21 am

    And in some really horrible news, a woman who was one of the first to marry her same sex partner in Michigan was brutally attacked on the street, because her attackers recognized her and her wife, and is in the hospital:

  • 18. Rik  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I thumbed up your message, because I appreciated the link share…. obviously not because it is good news. I realized after that might look odd.

  • 19. sfbob  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Yeah, sometimes it's tough to know how to handle bad news like this. I think the point is to make sure that the comment gets attention.

    The downside of progress is the inevitable backlash. I just hope she's okay. I also hope she's able to identify her attackers so they can be found and prosecuted.

  • 20. Ray  |  April 4, 2014 at 11:36 am

    On a visit to Jackson, Michigan to see my family, my husband and I had no incidents with the exception that on the last night there we walked from our motel to a restaurant. A car went past us and called us a bunch of faggots. We are so thankful that only name calling happened. It could have been worse.

    Oh and the welcome sign for the town had a sign underneath that said "Home of the Republican Party."

  • 21. Retired lawyer  |  April 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    The point has been made that ADF's briefs are cut and paste jobs. They are so stultifying that this reader looks for anything new. In this brief, on (green) page: 18, we find learned counsel beginning a paragraph with, "For openers…." Dear Lord, this sounds like an inexperienced waiter announcing the appetizers.

  • 22. tom  |  April 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you RL , I needed a good chuckle..

    It's amazing how they still argue that same-sex couples should be held accountable for the failure of opposite sex couples to act in the way the state says they should:
    Opposite sex couples could decide not to be responsible for their children….
    Opposite sex couples could decline to marry…

  • 23. Rick O.  |  April 2, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Too bad their last point doesn't begin: BUT WAIT, THAT'S NOT ALL!"

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