A ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman upheld Louisiana’s gay marriage ban, despite recent court victories in more than 20 other cases over the past year for supporters of same-sex marriage.
Feldman, who’s ruling also upheld Louisiana’s refusal to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state, said that gay marriage supporters failed to show that the ban violates equal protection or due process provisions of the Constitution. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the judge agreed that the state has the right to define marriage.
Feldman also said that Louisiana has a “legitimate interest…whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others…in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents.”
The Louisiana Family Forum praised the ruling, reports ABC News. “This ruling confirms that the people of Louisiana, not the federal courts, have the constitutional right to decide how marriage is defined in this state,” a representative said in a news release.
Other supporters of the same-sex marriage ban were also pleased with the decision, such as Louisiana attorney general, Buddy Caldwell, who released a statement saying, “It’s refreshing to see this recognition of the right of states to manage their own affairs.”
Opponents of the ban see the ruling as a setback, but have not given up hope. According to The New York Times, legal experts suspect that the Supreme Court will likely give a more definitive ruling on same-sex marriage in the next term, which would make Feldman’s decision moot within the next year anyway.
Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the LGBT advocacy group, Human Rights Campaign, had this to say about the ruling:
“Today a federal district court put up a roadblock on a path constructed by twenty-one federal court rulings over the last year – a path that inevitably leads to nationwide marriage equality. Ultimately the nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States will be asked to decide whether committed and loving gay and lesbian couples should be denied an institution that they, themselves, have deemed a constitutional right more than a dozen times. We firmly believe that justice will ultimately be done.”
A spokesperson for the Forum on Equality, the organization that represented the plaintiffs in the case, said the three same-sex couples who sued the state over the ban plan to appeal the ruling.
Although gay rights have come a long way in the past decade, this recent Inquisitr article shows that LGBT couples are still fighting for their rights to be recognized as legitimate – even in states in which same sex marriage is legal.
Photo courtesy of NBC News