Coalition Calls For Oklahoma Marriage Equality

PRESS RELEASE:                                                               

Contact: Troy Stevenson
Executive Director, The Equality Network
(405) 802-8229

Freedom Oklahoma to Showcase & Build Support for the Freedom to Marry

OKLAHOMA CITY, O.K. — In a press conference today on the steps of the state capitol, a broad and diverse coalition, including state and national organizations, faith and civil rights leaders as well as everyday Oklahomans, gathered to announce a new public education campaign to showcase and expand support for marriage equality in Oklahoma.

“We will lift up the voices of loving gay and lesbian couples as well as business, faith and civic leaders and Oklahomans from every walk of life who believe in the freedom to marry,” said Troy Stevenson, Executive Director, The Equality Network.  Equality is denied to thousands of loving and committed Oklahoma couples, and that cannot stand. Freedom means freedom for everyone and every Oklahoman must be afforded equal protection under the law.”

Seizing on momentum from U.S. District Court Senior Judge Terence Kern’s January decision which overturned Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban, and within days of oral arguments on the state’s appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 10th Circuit, Freedom Oklahoma seeks to broaden and deepen the conversation on marriage equality.

For more information about Oklahoma’s marriage equality case, go to:

Married Tulsa couple, Kim McDonald and Rebeka Radcliff, spoke today about the difficulties in raising a son without recognition from the state for their marriage.

“Oklahoma is the state where we fell in love. Oklahoma is where we want to raise our son. Oklahoma is and will always be special in our hearts and the place where we want to spend the rest of our lives together. I hope that finally, one day, we can be a legally respected married couple in the state where we live. Only then will it truly be home,” Kim McDonald said.

Ryan Kiesel Executive Director of ACLU Oklahoma added “In just a few years from now, we’re going to look back at efforts to ban gay marriage as inconsistent with the right side of history. The legal victories underscore that marriage equality is increasingly recognized as a right that should be extended to all Americans.” 

Recent polls show a rapid shift in Americans’ support for same-sex marriage. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released last month found an all-time-high 59 percent of Americans are now in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry. And in a sign that support is increasing even across party lines, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 56 percent of Republicans under the age of 45 support marriage equality.

Reverend Dr. Allen Buck, Pastor at Summit United Methodist Church added “We need to create a coalition of love to stand proudly together in this fight for marriage equality. Freedom Oklahoma is doing just that. My hope is that people will speak out, be in relationship and dialogue with each other and advocate for the freedom to marry.”

During the press conference, Mothers of Many, a coalition of moms committed justice and equality for gay and lesbian children endorsed Freedom Oklahoma’s effort to expand marriage equality in the state.

“I am a lifelong Oklahoman, a proud mother of a gay son, and an advocate for a community of mothers committed to seeing the day when we can witness our sons and daughters get legally married to those they love in their home state of Oklahoma.” Cindy Cason, member of Mothers for Many said.

Freedom Oklahoma is a project of the statewide LGBT organization, The Equality Network, which is working in partnership with Freedom to Marry, the national organization committed to winning and securing marriage equality across the country.