Oklahoma gay marriage ban lawsuit pending 9 years

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By KRISTI EATON, Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Two same-sex couples who sued for the right to marry in conservative Oklahoma knew it would be a struggle, but they couldn't have expected they'd still be awaiting their day in court nine years later.

Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin filed the lawsuit along with another couple back in November 2004. That was shortly after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Although the suit was revised in 2009 to name the Tulsa County clerk as a defendant, it maintains its original claim that the women should be allowed to marry in Oklahoma.

The couples say U.S. District Court Judge Terence Kern hasn't signaled how he wants to proceed.

A gay advocacy group says it is the longest-running active lawsuit against the Defense of Marriage Act.

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