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Lambda Legal Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Review Federal Judge's Ruling Upholding Louisiana Gay Marriage Ban

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Hoping to bypass the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Lambda Legal and the lawyers representing Forum for Equality Louisiana and seven same-sex Louisiana couples have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman's August ruling upholding the state's same-sex marriage ban. 

The filing, called a Writ of Certiorari before Judgment can be granted in cases that show there is imperative public importance as to justify bypassing the normal appeals process in the Circuit Court of Appeal.

Said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Kenneth D. Upton, Jr. via statement:

LouisianaThe ruling from the lower court in this case is a time-warped reading of the Constitution and neglects developments in the law, including since the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor. We have seen a blizzard of well-reasoned rulings in recent months holding similarly discriminatory bans unconstitutional, including rulings out of the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuits Courts of Appeal. We are asking for the Supreme Court’s review now while it is considering the Sixth Circuit decision because together these cases present the full gamut of aberrant arguments supporting these discriminatory bans, and, in Louisiana specifically, present in one state a case covering both the right of same-sex couples to marry, and for legally married same-sex couples to have those marriages recognized. The longer same-sex couples are forced to live in a country divided by where their families are respected and where they aren’t the more apparent the injustice will become—and that clarity will come at a price for thousands of families.

Added Forum for Equality Louisiana Executive Director SarahJane Brady:

Dozens of federal courts have been nearly unanimous: these hateful, politically motivated marriage bans have no place in our country – and they will soon end up in the dustbin of history where they belong.  After the Sixth Circuit’s ruling upholding state bans on same sex marriages, we determined there is too much at stake in Louisiana and other states without marriage equality to wait on the appeals process to play out, potentially delaying justice for same-sex couples.

The Fifth Circuit has scheduled arguments in challenges to same-sex marriage bans from Louisiana and Texas for January 9. 

Read the petition below via Equality Case Files:

 


Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson to Rally for GOP Candidate in Louisiana Senate Runoff

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Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is bringing her "simple-minded" self on down to Louisiana this weekend to join Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson in helping support Rep. Bill Cassidy's race to unseat Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, CNN reports:

Palin and Robertson will attend a GOP unity rally for Cassidy on Saturday afternoon in Monroe, Cassidy's spokesman confirmed. The story was first reported by Politico.

It's not the first time Palin has palled around with the "Duck Dynasty" clan. Last year she spent time with the family in Monroe while she was on a book tour.

Landrieu won 42% of the vote in last week's election compared to Cassidy's 41%. State law requires a December runoff if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. 

Watch a video back in September of Robertson telling Palin his thoughts on "political correctness" and Palin admitting she's "simple minded" AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson to Rally for GOP Candidate in Louisiana Senate Runoff" »


Family Research Council Files Brief with 5th Circuit in Same-Sex Marriage Case

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb078a2fbf970d-250wiAnti-choice and anti-gay marriage group Family Research Council has filed a brief in opposition of same-sex marriage with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

This is the latest news in the contentious, continuing battle over same-sex marriage in Louisiana, which most recently featured conflicting rulings in state courts.

You can check out the FRC's brief here, but as Joe. My. God. puts it, "The brief makes the usual tired arguments about procreation, incest, polygamy, and blah blah blah. There's nothing new to see here."

In fact, we may have to wait until the week of January 5 to see something truly new in the matter. (This is when the Fifth Circuit will hold a hearing to consider the legal standing gay marriage in Louisiana and Texas.)

Previously, the Fifth Circuit has said they will fast track oral arguments in the case — in deference to people with extenuating situations that make a decision especially urgent. We'll see what happens.


5th Circuit Court of Appeals Schedules Hearing on Same-Sex Marriage For Week of January 5

5thThe U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals announced yesterday it would consider arguments in cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in Texas and Louisiana for the week of January 5, 2015. The Times-Picayune reports: 

The cases from the two states remain separate, but have been put on parallel schedules with the court. A district court judge in Austin in February struck down Texas' ban on gay marriage, while U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in August upheld Louisiana's ban.

Feldman's ruling marked the first time opponents of gay marriage have successfully defended a ban in federal court since the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Windsor struck down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

The judges who will hear the cases will not be announced until closer to the hearing date, but the 5th Circuit is one of four appellate jurisdictions in the U.S. with more judges appointed by Republicans than by Democrats.

A three-judge panel in the conservative 6th Circuit in Cincinnati seemed hostile to lawyers challenging Ohio's same-sex marriage ban in August, but has yet to issue a ruling.

The 5th Circuit previously agreed to a request to fast track its consideration of Texas' same-sex marriage ban.

You can read the 5th Circuit's announcement for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "5th Circuit Court of Appeals Schedules Hearing on Same-Sex Marriage For Week of January 5" »


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

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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.


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