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Supreme Court of the United States

Smith v. Bishop | Bishop v. United States

Last Updated: 6/2/2020


What's at stake

  • Protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman
  • Promoting the importance of both mothers and fathers
  • Protecting the voters’ rights to direct social policy concerning marriage and family


Over a million Oklahoma voters approved a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Alliance Defending Freedom and the Tulsa District Attorney’s Office became the primary defenders of Oklahoma’s marriage amendment when two same-sex couples sued Sally Howe Smith, the Tulsa County Clerk. The couples asked a federal court to force the Tulsa Clerk to give them marriage licenses in violation of Oklahoma law.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys explained to the court that marriage benefits society by providing children with stable family relationships and the unique parenting benefits that both a mother and a father bring. But a federal district judge ruled in January 2014 that Oklahoma’s definition of marriage violated the U.S. Constitution, despite the fact that diverse cultures and faiths have used the same definition for centuries.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, on behalf of the Tulsa Clerk, appealed that decision to the Tenth Circuit. Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies will continue to defend Oklahoma’s marriage laws, as well as the man-woman marriage laws in many other states throughout the nation.

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies are defending Oklahoma’s marriage amendment free of charge.

Learn More

Legal Documents

{"docs": [{"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "10th Circuit opening brief", "FileName": "", "Date": "10/31/2017 9:06:18 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "10th Circuit opinion and dissent", "FileName": "", "Date": "10/31/2017 9:06:18 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "District court opinion", "FileName": "", "Date": "10/31/2017 9:06:18 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Petition for writ of certiorari", "FileName": "", "Date": "10/31/2017 9:06:18 PM"}]}
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