Terence C. Kern

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Terence C. Kern (born 1944) is a United States federal judge.

Born in Clinton, Oklahoma, Kern received a B.S. from Oklahoma State University in 1966 and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1969. He was in the United States Army Reserve from 1969 to 1975. He was a general attorney of Federal Trade Commission, Division of Compliance, Bureau of Deceptive Practices from 1969 to 1970. He was in private practice in Ardmore, Oklahoma from 1970 to 1994.

Kern is a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Kern was nominated by President Bill Clinton on March 9, 1994, to a new seat created by 104 Stat. 5089. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 8, 1994, and received his commission on June 9, 1994. He served as chief judge from 1996-2003. He assumed senior status in January 2010.

On January 14, 2014, Judge Kern held that the Oklahoma Constitution's definition of marriage as limited to "the union of one man and one woman" violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The suit, Bishop v. Oklahoma, had been filed by two lesbian couples against the Tulsa County Clerk and others. The ruling has been stayed pending appeal.[1] The amendment banning same-sex marriage was passed by the voters in 2004, and its legislative history was cited in the ruling.[2]