Louisiana Hub

Louisiana Church Kicks Out AA Group Over Concerns It Will Be Forced to Perform Gay Weddings: VIDEO


A church in Keithville, Louisiana has severed its five year relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous over concerns that the church may be forced to publicly accommodate a same-sex wedding in the future. In a letter sent to AA, Westwood Baptist Church pastor David Venable said that the group would need to find another place to meet, KSLA reports:

"As I am sure you are aware, God's church, his written word, and its values and principles have come under a constant and aggressive attack from the homosexual and lesbian community," the letter begins, before going on to say that "Churches and Christian businesses alike, across our nation, are being forced, by our legal system, to accommodate these groups in the use of their buildings/facilities to perform marriage ceremonies, receptions, etc." due to a court decision they say was based on the fact the churches and business were accepting and accommodating other public entities, and therefore must also accommodate the homosexual and lesbian community."

Church officials say they aren't turning anyone away from the church and all people are free to worship at the church, but Pastor David Venable says in order to stay in line with God's word, the church had to make a tough and carefully considered decision.

CritcherPeople Acting for Change and Equality political director Adrienne Critcher [right] slammed the church's decision, saying "They say they are not out to get anyone but they singled out homosexuals as having some agenda that they are trying to force on the Baptist Church."

Venable added that while the letter could have been worded differently, he was only acting on the advice of an anti-gay article published in the Louisiana Baptist Church Message.

Since Louisiana remains one of the 29 states where it is entirely legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in public accommodations, I suppose Venable is just being precautious. 

Watch a KSLA news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Louisiana Church Kicks Out AA Group Over Concerns It Will Be Forced to Perform Gay Weddings: VIDEO" »

Ruling Striking Down Louisiana's Gay Marriage Ban Stayed Pending Appeal

CaldwellA ruling earlier this week declaring Louisiana's gay marriage ban unconstitutional has been stayed following a request by Attorney General Buddy Caldwell [pictured], The Times-Picayune reports:

Caldwell's office filed a motion for suspensive appeal Thursday afternoon, which stays Rubin's judgement pending appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court, according to Caldwell spokesperson Laura Gerdes.

Gerdes said at this time, same-sex marriage is still not permitted, nor are out-of-state same-sex marriages recognized in Louisiana.

In a separate ruling earlier this month, a federal judge upheld the state's gay marriage ban, suggesting that being gay is a "lifestyle choice" that is at odds with the democratic process.

Louisiana State Officials Request 5th Circuit Fast-Track Appeal of Same-Sex Marriage Case

LAFollowing Federal Judge Martin Feldman's ruling earlier this month that upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage, the first federal ruling to uphold a marriage ban since the Supreme Court gutted DOMA in United States v. Windsor, state officials in Louisiana have asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to fast-track the appeal of Judge Feldman's ruling and lump it together with a similar case concerning Texas' ban on same-sex marriage already before the 5th Circuit. Equality on Trial reports:

The request notes that there’s already an appeal pending in one marriage case – DeLeon v. Perry, challenging Texas’ same-sex marriage ban – and the state asks the court to assign the same three-judge panel to both cases.

The request to put the case on a fast-track comes as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs are already being filed in the Texas appeal. The filing assumes that the Fifth Circuit will put at least the Texas case on the November argument calendar. There’s enough time for both appeals to be argued in November.

The request is unopposed.

Meanwhile, we now have the ruling from Louisiana State Judge Edward Rubin who, contrary to Judge Feldmand, recently found the state's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. READ it, AFTER THE JUMP...

However, same-sex couples in Louisiana still cannot marry despite Judge Rubin's ruling. As BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner reports, state officials claim that "final judgment" is still needed before the matter can move forward:

Continue reading "Louisiana State Officials Request 5th Circuit Fast-Track Appeal of Same-Sex Marriage Case" »

State Judge Rules Louisiana's Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

LouisianaA judge in Louisiana has just ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

KLFY reports that Judge Edward Rubin found the ban unconstitutional in three areas:

1. Due process clause of the 14th amendment

2. Equal protection clause of 14th amendment

3. Full faith and credit clause of the constitution

Freedom to Marry adds that the plaintiffs, Lafayette residents Angela Marie Costanza and Chastity Shanelle Brewer, filed a lawsuit seeking to have their California marriage recognized by the state of Louisiana. Back in February, Judge Rubin declared that the couple had the freedom to legally adopt their son. 

The case at hand is an adoption proceeding, so the opinion is currently sealed, and will reportedly be made public in the morning. We'll have more details as soon as we get them.

In a ruling in a separate case in early September, a federal judge upheld the state's gay marriage ban, suggesting that being gay is a "lifestyle choice" that is at odds with the democratic process.



LSU Fraternity Apologizes for Michael Sam Gay Sex Joke Banner: VIDEO


A fraternity at Louisiana State University has apologized for flying a game-day banner outside its house last weekend that read “Michael isn’t the only Sam getting the D tonight.” The school was playing Sam Houston State University at the time.

The Times-Picayune reports:

The Delta Kappa Epsilon's Zeta Zeta chapter displayed the message, which some deemed offensive, on what appeared to be a bed sheet secured over the entrance of the fraternity house Saturday (Sept. 6). The apology letter says the chapter will stop hanging signs in front of the DKE house "indefinitely."

"Zeta Zeta is a chapter full of rich traditions, one of them being our game day banners," the fraternity wrote.

"Though satire is sometimes the goal, crossing the line and causing offense to others is never the intent," the letter from the DKEs, addressed to LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander, said. "We truly apologize to you and all other members of the LSU community who have had to deal with the effects of this banner."

LSU, which asked the banner be taken down, said it did not condone the fraternity’s “hurtful actions” and the school’s Dean of Students K.C. White plans on meeting with interested parties to further discuss the incident.

Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a long line of offensive banners that the fraternity has flown in past years. You can check out an LSU Tiger TV report on the current controversy and previous frat banners, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "LSU Fraternity Apologizes for Michael Sam Gay Sex Joke Banner: VIDEO" »

Appeals Notices Filed in Federal Ruling Upholding Louisiana's Gay Marriage Ban

LouisianaLate last week, Forum for Equality Louisiana and several gay couples filed their notices of appeal in Louisiana Federal Judge Martin Feldman's ruling earlier this month upholding the state's ban on marriage equality. 

Notably, Judge Feldman's bizarre, hateful opinion was the first (and so far only) federal loss for equality in this post-DOMA court landscape. The appeal now goes to the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a Texas gay-marriage case is also pending. 

The Shreveport Times reports that Michael Johnson, the attorney who defended Louisiana's ban, said an appeal of the ruling was to be expected

"We're prepared already to handle that," Johnson said. "We have a very good chance of prevailing in the 5th Circuit."

A win at that level would be even more significant than Wednesday's ruling, Johnson said, because it would indicate a split in appellate rulings, which is often a precursor to a case coming before the Supreme Court.

This case, Robicheaux v. Caldwell, could be the case that finally forces the Supreme Court to rule once and for all, he said. 


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