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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A federal judge has struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban, ruling that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern handed down the ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples. Kern's ruling was immediately stayed pending appeal, meaning gay marriages won't immediately happen in Oklahoma.

The gay couples had sued for the right to marry and to have a marriage from another jurisdiction recognized in Oklahoma.

Kern ruled on a constitutional amendment approved by Oklahoma voters in 2004 that says marriage in the state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. He said it violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office did not immediately have a comment on the ruling.

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