01/20/2014 07:09 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Dueling Marriage Victories in the Midwest

It's difficult to overstate just how important last week's victory in Oklahoma is.

A federal court ruled that preventing same-sex couples from marrying violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This is hardly a new phenomenon -- numerous courts have now ruled similarly -- but this is a major ruling, not just in a very red state but in a very red circuit. Oklahoma is part of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (the other states are Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico). And it's the second time in recent weeks that a federal court has overturned bans on marriage equality in this circuit.

That means that two decisive victories are now headed toward appeal. Last month's Utah victory is on a very fast track toward being heard, and it could be consolidated with the Oklahoma ruling. But in any event, the case for equality is strong, and we could soon have a pro-equality ruling that blankets several key Midwestern states.

In the meantime, litigation continues in Virginia, Ohio, and Texas, with major court milestones expected in the coming weeks.

With 2014 still just a few days old, it's looking like another groundbreaking year for the freedom to marry.