OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma lawmaker said he's filed legislation calling for a second vote to ban same-sex marriage, a week after a judge struck down a 2004 voter-approved ban.
State Rep. Mike Turner said the move gives an "arrow in the quiver" to lawmakers opposed to same-sex marriage, days after Senior District Judge Terence Kern ruled the state's ban on gay marriage violated the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment, the Tulsa World reported.
"Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed," Kern wrote in his decision. "It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to the individual constitutional rights."
Kern issued a stay of his ruling pending appeal, so for the time being gays cannot legally file for marriage licenses in the state. The opposite was the case in Utah where a judge came to the same legal conclusion but no such stay was ordered, leading to more than 1,000 couples getting married over several days before the state shut it down again.
Turner said the legislation doesn't need to be acted on until the case has been resolved. Gay rights advocates say public opinion on the issue has changed significantly since Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly passed a gay marriage ban nearly a decade ago.