Judge: Louisiana ban on gay marriage constitutional

An advocate for same-sex marriage said a federal judge in Louisiana is the first "to get it wrong."
By Frances Burns  |  Sept. 3, 2014 at 2:36 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Same-sex marriage opponents chalked up their first legal victory in federal court in the past year Wednesday when a judge refused to overturn Louisiana's ban.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman ruled that Louisiana has not violated the rights of six same-sex couples who married legally in other jurisdictions. The couples sued, seeking an order for the state to recognize their unions.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, rulings in many federal courts and some state courts have found that barring same-sex couples from legal marriage violates their consitutional rights. Advocates for gay marriage have received only one adverse ruling, from a Tennessee state judge.

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry said the issue needs to come before the Supreme Court again.

"His is the first federal court to get it wrong," Wolfson told the Los Angeles Times. "He treats what these couples are seeking as some new and different thing rather than the same freedom to marry and the same equal protection under the law that the Constitution guarantees to all of us."

In some states, including Oregon and Pennsylvania, state officials declined to appeal judicial rulings in favor of same-sex marriage. In some other states, judges refused to grant stays pending appeal, legalizing gay marriage at least temporarily.

Utah, where a judge ruled the state ban unconstitutional, has already petitioned the Supreme Court to hear its appeal.

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