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READ IT HERE: State court ruling striking down Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban

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Louisiana state sealYesterday, we reported on a ruling by a state court judge in Louisiana striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling wasn’t publicly available until today, and you can now read it here, thanks to Equality Case Files:

2013-0052D2 – Louisiana Ruling by Equality Case Files


  • 1. ragefirewolf  |  September 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Ugh, I wish I could read Scribd at work. It's blocked for some weird reason.

  • 2. franklinsewell  |  September 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I downloaded it. I can email it to you.

  • 3. ragefirewolf  |  September 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    That's appreciated, Franklin, but I can read it now that I'm home. 🙂

  • 4. sfbob  |  September 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    A good decision, rendered rather poorly. For example in several places the judge describes Windsor as striking down "New York's Defense of Marriage Act." And there are places where the grammar is just indescribably poor.

    One thing to note is the judge's agreement with plaintiffs' statement that they are in a better position to decide how best to raise their child than is the state of Louisiana.

  • 5. JayJonson  |  September 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    This is a strong ruling. The judge invokes not only Loving but also Plessy v. Ferguson! I agree, however, that there are some errors that betray hasty writing. But the judge seems to be on top of the recent rulings, relying especially on Kitchen.

  • 6. franklinsewell  |  September 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    My case history from reading the tea leaves was all wrong.

  • 7. weaverbear  |  September 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Wow. Yes, a very strong ruling. Thank you Judge Rubin!

  • 8. franklinsewell  |  September 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    It appears that the Attorney General intervened in what would have been a matter for the District court to decide with a legal maneuver called a "Suspensive Appeal." I can only find references to this in Google related to Louisiana cases.

    That appeal went to the 3rd Circuit, which remanded to the district level for review with the attorney general included in the case.

  • 9. NetAmigo  |  September 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    A conflict now exists between a state court ruling (this one) and a Federal court ruling (Robicheaux). What does this imply for the marriage discrimination laws?

  • 10. jjcpelayojr  |  September 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Your move SCOTUS…

  • 11. Eric  |  September 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    One set of plaintiffs lost, another set won, it happens all the time.

  • 12. ragefirewolf  |  September 24, 2014 at 4:58 am

    I *think* the most recent ruling is the one that controls. Raga?

  • 13. DaveM_OH  |  September 24, 2014 at 7:12 am

    The answer here is… neither controls, but both persuade.

    First off, neither "controls" in the aspect that they bind other, future Courts to their decision. Both decisions were handed out in district court, i.e. the courts of "first resort," which decide issues particular to the case at hand – and have no courts inferior to them that would be bound by the decision.

    So the Costanza/Brewers can file their returns (hey, lookiee there, it's a tax case!) and get their son's birth certificate fixed (unless the state ruling is stayed pending appeal), but the Robicheaux plaintiffs have to wait for the 5th Circuit… or they could refile at state district court and slog through that proceeding.

    As for other similarly situated couples – they can try to get a license citing Costanza, be either welcomed, or turned away by a clerk citing Robicheaux, and have to file their own suit until (a) 5CA overturns Robicheaux, (b) LA SC upholds Costanza, or (c) SCOTUS upholds Kitchen. [ed. note: I am assuming Kitchen is granted. I think it's the highest probability.]

  • 14. ragefirewolf  |  September 24, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Wow. What a mess. Thank you, Dave.

  • 15. jm64tx  |  September 24, 2014 at 7:47 am

    "they could refile at state district court"

    Nope. Res judicata. They already picked federal court as their forum/venue so they cant go file again in state court on the same issue.

  • 16. DaveM_OH  |  September 24, 2014 at 8:14 am

    A good point – they can't file on exactly the same issues and same defendant. However, if Robicheaux went through adoption proceedings and was denied a step-parent adoption, then there's a new case with new issues.

  • 17. Christian0811  |  September 23, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    I know this isn't this isn't the ideal place to ask this, since it deals with a foreign court (not that this bunch isn't extremely intelligent, because it is!), but things being what they are it's the best I can do.

    But I was wondering if there's a real chance that the French marriage equality law could be repealed if, or rather when, the socialists lose in the coming elections? The constitutional council ruled against us in 2011(DC2010-92) but also upheld the law as constitutional (DC2013-669). In addition, the Counstiutional Council ruled that mayors can't refuse to perform same-sex marriages as part of a 'conscience clause' (DC 2013-353).

    Now I don't know how the Constitutional Council's make up would affect any potential ruling regarding marriage nowadays, but there's a mixed record on the issue.

    Is anyone better versed than I on the nature of the current constitutional council? I'd appreciate any input!

  • 18. Pat_V  |  September 24, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Yes, it is technically possible for a future government to repeal the marriage law in France.
    It is in fact an ongoing debate, especially now that former president Nicolas Sarkozy has fully re-entered politics after keeping a low (well, slightly lower…) profile in the 2 years following his defeat in the 2012 election. He is now officially a candidate to head his UMP party and will likely win in November. It is obviously meant as a jumping off point to get his revenge on current president Hollande in 2017. Hollande is now so unpopular (only 13% favorable ratings in a recent poll, a record low, even for easily disgruntled French voters!) that it is hard to see how the Socialists remain in power in 2017, unless they nominate another candidate.
    Anyway, Sarkozy was interviewed last Sunday about what he would do about the marriage law should he become president again. He was pretty wishy-washy and only blasted the government for the way they "divided the country" and forced this law with "such violence"…
    Among his major supporters, there are contradicting viewpoints, with some saying it's unrealistic to repeal the law, and others who are adamant that it should be repealed.
    I personally think that this is mostly throwing red meat to the socially conservative part of the UMP electorate and that, if elected, he would likely ignore the issue and say that he needs to "focus on more important issues", like the economy. Similar to Mariano Raroy in Spain, who wanted to repeal the marriage law but didn't do anything about it.

  • 19. ragefirewolf  |  September 24, 2014 at 4:32 am

    This is the perfect place to ask about that. Marriage equality in the world as a whole is very important to us. Solidarity, my friend.

  • 20. josejoram  |  September 24, 2014 at 5:08 am
    The precedent link is in French but basically says that Sarkozy will consult within his party and promote internal debate about changing denomination to civil unions but he thinks there are more compelling issues to confront.

  • 21. ragefirewolf  |  September 24, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Yuck. Another one that wants to roll back progress.

  • 22. Steve  |  September 24, 2014 at 7:08 am

    The hypocrisy! He is the French Newt Gingrich. Thrice married serial adulterer.

  • 23. guitaristbl  |  September 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Sarkozy will suck it up and move on, he won't do anything. The UMP is afraid of Le Pen thus adopting more and more of her extremist rhetoric and agenda but the majority won't let the party go down as the first worldwide which repealed marriage equality. It will hurt them in the longrun, they know it.They know that they are not going to win any demographics with such a move, even among those who oppose marriage equality (a minority in France for years now) who do believe that restarting this debate will consume valuable parliamentary time and will probably lead to legal chaos as well if they attempt it. They were opposed to PACS when they were adopted, then learned to live with them and eventually supported them. They will learn to live with marriage equality as well.
    Even if they somehow manage to get through with that, the Constitutional Court is there to protect LGBT people from the animus.

  • 24. Christian0811  |  September 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Do you think the Council would make a 'Romer'-esque ruling?

  • 25. guitaristbl  |  September 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I wouldn't draw any comparisons between a US case and a French court, primarily because I am not too familiar with the french judicial system. But a repeal of a law that has hurt no one (its repeal will) and is repealed only out of animus without legitimate governmental interests at stake cannot stand much in the constitutional court I believe. People's rights are not to be the toys of governments that come and go, established and repealed in an endless circle as the battling point among ideologies. The court has to recognize that in addition to the legal chaos that will be created. There is no realistic possibility for France to repeal marriage equality under UMP. Now if Le Pen gets majorities and the presidency…that's a different story, scary not only for LGBT people but for the french and european society in general.

  • 26. Eric  |  September 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    French law is very different, the closest thing we have in the US is the legal system in Louisiana, thanks Napoleon.

  • 27. Christian0811  |  September 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Even then they didn't even keep the nice aspects of it, like not prohibiting same sex sexual intercourse in the penal code.

  • 28. Christian0811  |  September 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I don't think FN will really end up being a threat. In fact, they're not being embraced for their homophobia. It's their staunch anti-immigration policies.

    As for whether or not rights can be tampered with, it doesn't matter if they SHOULD be without rational cause. It's if they CAN be. Hopefully, in any theoretical repeal action, the constitutional council will say they can't be.

  • 29. josejoram  |  September 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

    You confirm my hunch. Sarkozy and UMP won't dare.

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