Attorneys for the Tulsa County court clerk, who is appealing an Oklahoma judge's Jan. 17 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, said they would not be able to comply with the schedule set for Utah and thus asked that the cases not be consolidated. But, placing the Oklahoma case on an expedited track ensures "the resolution of the Kitchen appeal [the Utah case] will not be materially delayed and, as a result, that no parties will be prejudiced by the relief requested in this motion," they said.
Having the same panel hear the appeals also minimizes "the risk of inconsistent Tenth Circuit precedent," attorneys in the Oklahoma case said in a court filing.
The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives has filed as an intervenor in the Oklahoma case; it was a defendant in the case early on.
Peggy Tomsic, a Salt Lake City attorney representing three same-sex couples who challenged Utah's ban on gay marriage, said the move by the 10th Circuit shows it recognizes the importance of allowing the cases to move forward without delay.
"Every day these discriminatory laws remain in effect, families in Utah and Oklahoma are being destabilized and harmed," she said. "We look forward to the day these divisive and harmful laws are permanently struck down, and all families have the same acceptance and protection under the law."
— Brooke Adams