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Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban Rejected By Appeals Court

(KNWA/CNN) -- For the first time, a U.S. appeals court has struck down a state's ban on same-sex marriage.
(KNWA/CNN) -- For the first time, a U.S. appeals court has struck down a state's ban on same-sex marriage. It happened on Wednesday in Utah, where a panel ruled 2-1 against the prohibition, saying that any couple, regardless of sexual orientation, has the right to marry.

The ruling, also affects Oklahoma's gay marriage ban, stating the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause prevents states from banning same-sex marriage.
Same-sex couples may now marry in 19 states and in Washington, D.C. In Arkansas, a same-sex marriage case is currently on appeal at the Arkansas Supreme Court. As far as the impact of Wednesday's ruling, the Attorney Generals' office says an Arkansas court may be persuaded by the ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, but it's free to decide the case as it chooses.

James Rector, President of the NWA Center for Equality calls it a good sign for people in Northwest Arkansas and across the state.
"The Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality is pleased to hear this affirmation that basic rights should be afforded to all Americans. The momentum just keeps building for marriage equality and we are very happy that this decision has been made. We remain hopeful for the future," Rector said. 
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