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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 3, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 27
Judge voids Louisiana laws against same-sex marriage Bobby Jindal is still an ass
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Judge voids Louisiana laws against same-sex marriage Bobby Jindal is still an ass

by Mike Andrew SGN Staff Writer Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is still an ass.

That's not news. What is news is that he no longer has legal cover to prevent Gay and Lesbian couples from marrying in his state.

On July 2, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman reversed his previous ruling and declared that same-sex marriage is a done deal in Louisiana.

'IT IS ORDERED that this Court's Order and Reasons and the accompanying Judgment dated September 3, 2014, are hereby recalled and rescinded,' Feldman wrote in his order.

'IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Article XII, Section 15 of the Louisiana Constitution, Article 89 of the Louisiana Civil Code, and laws enacted pursuant thereto [banning same-sex marriage], violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and may not be enforced against the Plaintiffs or any other same-sex couple; IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Article XII, Section 15 of the Louisiana Constitution, Article 3520(B) of the Louisiana Civil Code, and laws enacted pursuant thereto [defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman], violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and may not be enforced against the Plaintiffs or any other same-sex couple.'

In September 2014, Feldman became the only federal district judge to rule that state laws against same-sex marriage are legitimate. His new ruling puts an end to marriage discrimination in Louisiana and takes away the last shred of justification for Jindal to stand in the way of Gay and Lesbian weddings.

On June 26, when the U.S. Supreme Court announced its landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Jindal announced that no Louisiana state agencies would recognize same-sex marriages until the Fifth Circuit Court affirmed the Supreme Court decision.

In spite of Jindal's instruction, many Louisiana parishes - that state's equivalent of counties - began issuing licenses to Gay and Lesbian couples in compliance with the Supreme Court's decision.

On July 1, the Fifth Circuit also spoke in unequivocal terms, saying that marriage equality is 'the law of the land.'

'Obergefell, in both its Fourteenth and Fifth Amendment iterations, is the law of the land and, consequently, the law of this circuit and should not be taken lightly by actors within the jurisdiction of this court,' the Fifth Circuit said in its ruling.

'We express no view on how controversies involving the intersection of these rights should be resolved but instead leave that to the robust operation of our system of laws and the good faith of those who are impacted by them.'

Perhaps the Fifth Circuit was wrong to trust in the governor's good faith. No sooner did the circuit court affirm the Supreme Court's ruling, than Jindal announced that he would wait for the US District Court that handled the original Louisiana marriages cases to tell him what to do.

'Our agencies will follow the Louisiana Constitution until the District Court orders us otherwise,' the governor's spokesperson said.

Following the Supreme Court decision which rejected Feldman's ruling, the Fifth Circuit gave him until July 17 to issue orders complying with the high court, though it encouraged him to do so sooner.

Jindal said he'd just as soon wait as long as possible. Meanwhile, all but two Louisiana parishes are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to the New Orleans Advocate.

The newspaper reported that as of July 1 Lincoln Parish had not answered repeated calls for information.

Red River Parish Clerk of Court Stuart Shaw said that 'I plan on following the ruling in the Fifth Circuit,' which means the parish should soon begin issuing licenses.

Unfortunately, even a few days delay may be too late for one of the plaintiffs in the original Louisiana lawsuit. Robert Welles, now 52, is in declining health.

'I wait every day for a phone call,' Welles told the New Orleans Advocate. 'The way I see it, we started this thing in New Orleans, and we want to finish it in New Orleans.'

Kyle Duncan, a lawyer working for the Jindal administration, said state agencies would wait to recognize same-sex marriage until the district court ruling.

'The court made it crystal clear,' he said. 'It's when the district court renders final judgment.'

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