SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - State same-sex marriage bans have been falling around the country since June 2013, when the nation's highest court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The remaining state bans all face legal challenges to overturn them.
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Oklahoma's ban is unconstitutional, but the judges put the ruling on hold so it could be appealed. The decision comes three weeks after the same panel of judges reached the same conclusion on Utah's same-sex marriage ban.
Gay and lesbian couples can now marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Same-sex couples cannot wed in the rest of the states.
A total of 14 gay marriage cases are pending in state and federal appeals courts, with judges reviewing a wave of pro-gay marriage rulings that have come in the past year. Those rulings all are on hold pending appellate court decisions.
Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska are among 16 states with court cases demanding recognition of gay marriage; most lawsuits challenge same-sex marriage bans, or ask states to recognize gay marriages done in other states.