Gay rights advocates gathered in a Tahlequah park recently to demonstrate their support of gay marriage.
The Tahlequality group’s picnic event hosted more than 600 people.
The topic of gay marriage is highly debated throughout the state of Oklahoma, with a ruling coming Friday that gays can legally marry in Oklahoma.
“I’m against gay marriage, I come from a biblical standpoint,” said Bill Hayward, a pastor at a local church.
Counties are not issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, though, because the appeals court ruling is on hold.
“I believe that it’s against God, and against the Bible,” Hayward said.
As supporters wait for a final decision, the issue is being appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
“It’s an issue of equality,” said Carden Crow, the president of the Tahlequality LGBT-rights group based in Tahlequah.
The Tahlequality group defines themselves as representatives of the LGBT community.
“[We are] a community coming together, a sense of camaraderie, for our LGBT2Q community,” Crow said.
The Tahlequality group says times have changed, and that gay rights shouldn’t be based on faith.
“I think it’s less about marriage, and a title, than it is about equality,” Crow said.
However, not everyone agrees.
“I don’t believe [the law] should be altered at all, one nation under God,” Hayward said.
“That’s what our government, and our country, was established on.”
Crow married in another state, but says by Oklahoma law, she has to claim on legal documents that she is single.
“I’m not single, I’ve been married to the same woman for 14 years,” Crow said.
Crow says this movement is about more than marriage ceremonies.
“It’s very simple, for me, it would mean equality. It would mean not being a second class citizen,” Crow said.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has promised to appeal the ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.