OKLAHOMA CITY– The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has announced that the four plaintiffs in the Bishop v. Oklahoma lawsuit–Mary Bishop, Sharon Baldwin, Susan Barton, and Gay Phillips–will receive the Angie Debo Civil Liberties Award for their long and potentially landmark fight against Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage. The reception will be held in the Bell Court Room at the University of Oklahoma Law School on Saturday, March 29, 2014. “In the nearly ten years since this case was first filed, these plaintiffs have stood on the front lines in the fight to secure true equality for Oklahomans, and today their case stands toRead More →

The ACLU of Oklahoma is currently accepting nominations for the Angie Debo Civil Liberties Award.  The award will be presented at this year’s Annual Meeting and Bill Rights Reception on Saturday, March 29, 2014. The Angie Debo Award was established in 1977 to recognize those who have provided exceptional defense to the Bill of Rights throughout the year or throughout their lives. Past recipients include Gov Henry Bellmon, Joann Bell, Michael Salem, Rev Robin Myers, Garvin Isaacs, and Bob Lemon. Nominations for the award must be received by our office no later than Saturday , March 1st. They may be mailed to the ACLU ofRead More →

January 30, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, along with the ACLU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, have filed a friend of the court brief urging the United States Supreme Court to reject the claim that a corporation can use religion as a justification to discriminate against women by refusing to make coverage for contraception available as required by federal law. The ACLU’s brief discusses the history of attempts to invoke religion to trump anti-discrimination measures to explain that such attempts are not new, and such attempts have been consistently rejected by the courts since the civil rights movement.Read More →

OKLAHOMA CITY – A federal court today declared that Oklahoma’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Implementation of the decision is on hold while the state appeals. The challenge to the law was brought by the Oklahoma City law firm Holladay & Chilton PLLC on behalf of Oklahoma same-sex couples. “It’s no accident that we’re seeing a decision like this in a comparatively conservative place like Oklahoma,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “It reflects the growing consensus across the country – in red, blue, and purple states – that it’s unfair to exclude same-sex couplesRead More →

OKLAHOMA CITY – In the first-ever study of people serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses in the United States, the ACLU found at least 3,278 such prisoners in federal and state prisons combined; 49 of whom are serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses in Oklahoma. “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses” features key statistics about these prisoners, an analysis of the laws that produced their sentences, and case studies of 110 men and women serving these sentences. Of the 3,278 prisoners, 79% were convicted of nonviolent, drug-related crimes such as possession or distribution; 20% of nonviolent property crimes like theft.Read More →