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Same-sex couples and the front page of The Oklahoman

This morning, I was looking at the front page of The Oklahoman and the picture of the same-sex couple getting a marriage license in Oklahoma County.

It reminded me of a front page from The Sunday Oklahoman in the spring of 1983, when I was working in the Norman bureau of The Oklahoman and Times.


I didn’t work on the series in any capacity. But Terrie Clifford, one of the reporters/writers on the project, also worked in the Norman bureau, so I heard about some of the struggles of the people interviewed for the series and the struggles internally to get the series published.

It was a big step putting that picture and story on the front page of The Sunday Oklahoman in 1983. And there was, as one might expect, a lot of backlash.

But people who took the time to read the series would have learned a lot about that “invisible minority.” Some of the stories in the series were on topics, raising children, when a person “becomes” gay, that were part of the same-sex marriage cases rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

Page 18 – May 1 1983 (2)

Page 19 – May 1 1983 (2)

Thirty-one years ago, when the series ran, most of those people interviewed wouldn’t give their real names or be photographed.

On Monday, when same-sex marriage became legal in Oklahoma, couples proudly talked about their love for one another and their desire to make it official. Some even said their vows in front of reporters and photographers for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.




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Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›