Oklahoma News
9:47 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Day-Only Divorce For Same-Sex Married Couple

A sign supporting gay marriage in California on the first day same-gender couples could legally marry there.
Changes in marriage laws have caused confusion in a divorce case in Oklahoma.
Credit Marc Love / flickr.com Creative Commons

An Oklahoma County special judge granted a divorce to a same-sex couple in August—then vacated that order a day later, court records show.

The case underscores continuing confusion in the state regarding same-sex marriages.

In July, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, and Deanne R. Baker filed for the divorce within two weeks of that ruling from her spouse, Julie L. Baker. The women were married to each other in Iowa two years ago

Online court records show Oklahoma County Special Judge Don Andrews first ruled that the divorce was granted, but 24 hours later rescinded the order:

08-19-2014                 Aug 19 2014 4:24 PM:

ORDER VACATING DECREE OF DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE AND NOTICE OF EVIDENTIARY
 HEARING/JUDGE ANDREWS

08-19-2014     Baker, Deanne R          79419780        Aug 19 2014 4:28 PM:

JUDGE ANDREWS: DECREE OF DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE IS HEREBY VACATED BY ORDER OF THE COURT.

The Oklahoman reports that Deanne Baker thought her divorce could be granted since the law banning same-sex marriages in Oklahoma was declared unconstitutional. She told the newspaper she didn’t know the order had been rescinded the next day.

“That is not cool,” the Tinker Air Force Base worker said. “I spent $400 when it was all said and done. So, if I’m not divorced, I want a refund on my money,” she said.

The newspaper reports that the judge claimed he had granted the divorce “inadvertently” but acknowledged knowing both parties were women. The couple is able to have their case heard again before a different judge September 11.

Correction: The previous version of this article on 9/2/14 stated Oklahoma's law banning same-sex marriage had been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The correct information is that the law was overturned at the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The matter may later be heard later before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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