Gov. Fallin, Attorney General Say 'Traditional' Marriage Not Threatened In Oklahoma

Wednesday, June 26th 2013, 1:47 pm
By: News 9

Gov. Mary Fallin says the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) does not change her support for traditional marriage, defined as the union between one man and one woman.

In a 5-4 ruling handed down Wednesday, the justices struck down Section 3 of the 17-year-old act. It's a provision that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

The court also dismissed the case appealing California's Proposition 8, which barred same-sex marriage. Five justices said the defendants did not have "standing" to defend the California-approved ballot. The ruling allows gay marriages in California to resume.

6/26/2013 Related Story: Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act, Dismisses Prop. 8 Case

Both rulings mean that same-sex couples who marry in states where it's legal for them to do so will have the same rights to federal benefits – such as retirement plans and taxes -- as heterosexual married couples.

Gov. Fallin says she does not support same-sex marriage, and believes the majority of Oklahomans agree with her.

"When given the opportunity to vote on the issue, seventy-five percent of Oklahoma voters supported a constitutional amendment declaring that ‘marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman,'" said Fallin. "Like the vast majority of Oklahomans, I support traditional marriage. I do not and will not support expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples."

Attorney General Scott Pruitt says the Supreme Court's decisions do not affect Oklahoma law.

"The Court's decisions confirmed that it is up to the states to decide how to define marriage, not the federal government. As a result, Oklahoma's constitutional provision that defines marriage in Oklahoma as between a man and a woman remains valid."