|Updated: 1/15 8:37 am
||Published: 1/14 4:25 pm
Tuesday, a U.S. District Judge, Terence Kern, ruled that Oklahoma's ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.
His ruling is currently stayed, meaning no marriages will occur immediately, however it a big step for Oklahoma.
In 2004, Oklahoma voters ruled marriage in their state should only consist of a man and a women. However Kern's ruling stated that decision violates the U.S Constitution Equal Rights Protection Clause.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin issued the following statement after the ruling:
"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. With last year's historic victories at the Supreme Court guiding the way, it is clear that we are on the path to full and equal citizenship for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. 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."
Kern's ruling comes on the heels of a year-long string of electoral, judicial and legislative victories for marriage equality.
Governor Mary Fallin released the following statement about the decision:
"In 2004, the people of Oklahoma voted to amend the state's constitution to define marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman.’ That amendment passed with 75 percent support. The people of Oklahoma have spoken on this issue. I support the right of Oklahoma's voters to govern themselves on this and other policy matters. I am disappointed in the judge's ruling and troubled that the will of the people has once again been ignored by the federal government."
In recent weeks both the New Mexico Supreme Court and a federal district judge in Utah have ruled in favor of marriage for lesbian and gay couples.