Louisiana Hub




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

Church

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.

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