By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This week a federal court struck down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage, making it the second time in a month a court overturned such a ban in a conservative state.
“It doesn’t have a direct impact, but it’s certainly evidence of the trend that’s emerging in these cases,” says Kermit Roosevelt, a professor of law at University of Pennsylvania Law School. He says the federal decisions in the Oklahoma and Utah cases strike down prohibitions on gay marriage for violating the US constitution’s equal protection guarantee.
“The argument is- [the ban draws] a distinction drawn between gay and lesbian couples and heterosexual couples that has no legitimate purpose.”
“The arguments are virtually identical,” says Vic Walczak of the ACLU Pennsylvania. The organization represents same sex couples who are challenging Pennsylvania’s ban and says the cases don’t change the odds of winning his case.
“It’s certainly welcome to see that other judges are looking at the exact same issue and ruling in favor,” he says.
Walczak says they plan to take the case to trial.