The United States Supreme Court was asked by the Tulsa County court clerk to review a federal appeals court’s ruling to defeat the ban on same-sex marriage in the state of Oklahoma, according to The Oklahoman.
The ban was struck down last month by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In the petition filed by Sally Howe Smith, she said that the U.S. Supreme Court should “return to the People this critical issue of marriage policy.”
The battle began when Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, from Tulsa County, sued Smith when she declined to issue the couple a marriage license. In January, a federal judge in Tulsa ruled in favor of the couple and then the appeals court upheld the ruling.
Smith is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. The group’s senior legal counsel, Byron Babione, said the following:
“The people of every state should retain the freedom to preserve marriage if they so choose. Courts shouldn’t decide the legal destiny of marriage in any state, let alone in every state.”
The legal team working for Bishop and Baldwin is fronted by Joseph Thai. Thai said the following about the petition:
“We will review this petition carefully and file an appropriate response. We are confident the highest court in the country will uphold the highest law of the land and affirm the constitutionally protected equality and fundamental right of all Americans — gay, lesbian, or straight — to marry the person whom they love. We look forward to the day — now closer than ever — when our clients and other same-sex couples will attain for themselves and their families the equal dignity and protections of marriage, and at the same time strengthen the institution of marriage through their committed unions.”
The petition, which was filed on Wednesday, said that the case in Oklahoma “presents a constitutional question of pressing national importance.”
If states “must recognize all relationships as marriages, their purpose for having a marriage policy in the first place — to recognize and subsidize particular relationships because of the societal interests that they serve — would be eradicated. This far-reaching effect on the States’ marriage policy would unsettle well-established federalism principles in the area of domestic relations.”