Oklahoma vs. Utah: Which Will Win Marriage First?

Two unlikely states are poised to win marriage equality in the next year or so.

Until recently, if you’d told us that marriage equality was this close to being the law of the land in Utah and Oklahoma, we’d have scoffed. But here we are: in both states, federal courts have ruled that banning marriage equality is unconstitutional.

Now, both cases are on track to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Utah case is rocketing along very swiftly, but the Oklahoma case could easily catch up — or they could be consolidated. In any event, they’ll probably end up at the US Supreme Court, unless another case gets their first and overturns marriage bans once and for all.

A permanent Oklahoma victory would be particularly delicious, since it would mean that Missouri and Texas would be surrounded on several sides by equality states. And a Utah win would partially surround Utah, particularly if Oregon overturns its ban this November.

The populations of Utah and Nevada aren’t huge — just a couple of million, a far cry from California and New York — but just a few weeks into the year and it’s already looking bright for winning over more states.

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  • AuntieChrist

    Tough choice but my moneys on Utah, I live in Oklahoma and these bitches are rabid anti-gay.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Heyyyy, Mornin’ AC! I giggle when I see UT and OK so close to Marriage Equality… whoda thunk it? The Southern tier of States’ extremists must be shakin’ in their boots, wondering when the South will succumb to the individual rights clause of the US Constitution. It will be worth the ensuing circus. May their pain be short-lived and all citizens’ joy be multiplied!

  • AuntieChrist

    @Dakotahgeo: Well they got Mitt and we got Mary this bitch took all benefits away from service folk just to keep the gays from gettin it…Now they have to drive like 3 or 4 hours to apply.

  • bi-lady

    Oklahoma, cause the Mormons run Utah and they won’t have the Gays equality just yet. But they’ll follow Utah I bet.
    It all gives me hope for the backward South. (or west)
    I pray both OK and Utah come to their senses and give the rights of every human being to every human being.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @AuntieChrist: Ahhhh, such is the life of these extremist Republican retreads from a past life. If Texas reversed its stance, surely OK would have the intelligence/common sense to do the same? Mmmmm… probably not. Politicians!

  • EGO

    Hi all! When is Idaho going to come to it’s senses and provide equal rights to all of its citizens?

  • Profe Sancho Panza

    ” …unless another case gets their first… ”


    “… gets THERE first …”


    Thank you.

  • Harley

    If OK & UT marriages stand, then it will be nationwide. Throw out 1 state constitutional amendment, they ALL go. This could be the year folks. Marriage equality nationwide. My oh my what will the repugnant-klans do next to marginalize large swaths of a population. Maybe they can move to Africa. Seems like things are going their way over there. Or maybe Russia, or Iran, or……….

  • JDJase

    You forgot that with Utah, Arizona is COMPLETELY surrounded (California, New Mexico, Utah, and Sonora [since all Mexican states have to recognize marriages]).

    But both will happen at the same time. If the 10th circuit doesn’t consolidate (I suspect they will though), their decisions will most likely still be stayed pending appeal to SCOTUS, and if SCOTUS grants certiorari, then there is a 100% chance they’ll consolidate.

  • hyhybt

    “A Utah win will partially surround Utah?”

  • Rambie


    Antie, they’re pretty anti-gay here in Utah too.

  • Icebloo

    I always thought the southern states were the most backward but as opinion polls show more and more southern states now support gay marriage and are making progress it is INDIANA that is the backward state. Despite the recent Supreme Court rulings on DOMA morononic Indiana politicians are wasting taxpayer money on introducing a gay marriage ban and it looks likely to pass. How embarrassing !

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Profe Sancho Panza: THANK YOU!!! I gritted and ground my teeth every time I saw that grammatical faux pas. This is NOT incorrect spelling… it is just wrong grammar, not befitting an intelligent blog spot. There are an awesomw number of hillbilly ex-students floating around this country!

  • TrekBear

    I think the Utah case will be decided first. Both UT and OK are in the 10th Circuit, so a decision in UT would impact OK directly.

    Once this happens, as someone above said, all other state constitutional bans are history!

  • Rob in Hawaii

    These are both Federal District Court decisions that are stayed pending Final resolution. So, they will both go to the 10th Circuit and from there to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court would likely combine them on appeal if the 10th Circuit decides them at close to the same time. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of marriage equality, it will be binding on the whole United States. So, both states will likely get marriage equality at the same time, the same time the remaining states also get it.

  • Stenar

    Oklahoma isn’t even appealing their court decision yet at all. They’re waiting to see the outcome of Utah’s appeal.

  • dennisjlee

    Utah’s case will be heard first. I predict it will make it past the 10th circuit and Utah will appeal it back to the supremes. They then will either not hear it (win for marriage equality everywhere)or will rule on it (Hopefully marriage equality everywhere).

  • hyhybt

    @dennisjlee: Not quite. If the Supreme Court doesn’t take a case, the appeals court ruling remains in place, the end. Appeals court rulings do not apply outside their own circuit, so the immediate, direct affect would be regional at most.

    If they *do* hear it, their own ruling might be broad enough to apply nationwide, narrow enough to fit only the specific litigants, or anywhere between.

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