social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in The Arts
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
New Queer Cinema
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
White, Minor
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
Surrealism Surrealism
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Winfield, Paul
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Topics In the News
Oklahoma Marriage Ban Declared Unconstitutional
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 01/14/14
Last updated on: 01/14/14
Bookmark and Share

On January 14, 2014, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern declared that Oklahoma's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the equal protection guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. After concluding that the ban on same-sex marriage was motivated by impermissible "moral disapproval" of homosexuality and furthers no legitimate state interest, Judge Kern declared it unconstitutional and then stayed his ruling pending a decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals where it is certain to be appealed.

Judge Kern, who was appointed to the Tulsa-based United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma by President Clinton in 1994, described Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage, which was adopted by referendum in 2004, as "an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit."

The decision in a case that was filed almost ten years ago follows closely on the December 20, 2013 ruling by Judge Robert Shelby, which struck down Utah's similar ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Shelby's ruling is stayed pending review by the Tenth Circuit.

One of the most interesting aspect of Judge Kern's opinion is that it cites the legislative and electoral history of the prohibition. From the remarks made by legislators and other supporters of the state constitutional amendment, it is apparent that the only motivation for the ban was religious-based disapproval of homosexuals and homosexuality. As the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas, moral disapproval of homosexuality is not a permissible state interest.

Perhaps most significantly, however, Judge Kern notes that the Supreme Court ruling in Windsor v. U.S.A., issued in June 2013, has fundamentally altered the legal landscape in which same-sex marriage must be considered.

As Erick Echolm reports in the New York Times gay rights advocates in Oklahoma rejoiced at the decision.

"We're jubilant, we're over the moon," said one of the plaintiffs in the case, known as Bishop v. U.S.A., Sharon Baldwin, 45, who has lived with her partner and co-plaintiff, Mary Bishop, 52, for 17 years.

The two both work as editors at The Tulsa World newspaper and had just arrived at work on Tuesday afternoon when the city editor told them of the decision. "We're taking the day off," Ms. Baldwin said.

Predictably, the decision has been savagely attacked by Oklahoma officials, including Republican Governor Mary Falin, and anti-gay activists, but has been hailed by the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry.

Judge Kern's decision may be read here.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.