Today a federal judge will hear arguments in a lawsuit which demands that Louisiana recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.
Attorneys for six same-sex couples in Louisiana and the advocacy group Forum for Equality Louisiana Inc. sued the state last year. They argue that Louisiana must recognize their unions under the Windsor decision. Attorneys for Louisiana disagree, saying that in its Windsor decision, the high court affirmed states’ rights to define marriage, and that Louisiana has defined it as being between a woman and a man. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman must interpret Windsor here. With no facts in dispute, Feldman, appointed by President Ronald Regan, must address only the question of law. In legal terms, both sides have asked for partial summary judgments. The plaintiffs aren’t asking Feldman to order Louisiana to legalize same-sex marriages. Rather, they want the judge to strike down a 1999 Louisiana law and a constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2004. Those laws define marriage as being between a man and a woman and forbid the state to recognize any other union as a marriage.
The city of New Orleans has filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs.
RELATED: In December 2013, Judge Feldman dismissed
an earlier marriage lawsuit against the state of Louisiana, ruling that
the plaintiffs had only named the state attorney general and that he
had not personally rejected their marriage demand.