U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman today broke with every federal judge who has ruled on marriage since the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling and declared Louisiana's ban on gay marriage constitutional.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman's ruling broke a string of 20-plus court wins for supporters of same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year. Feldman said gay marriage supporters failed to prove that the ban violates equal protection or due process provisions of the Constitution. He also rejected an argument that the ban violated the First Amendment by effectively forcing legally married gay couples to state that they are single on Louisiana income tax returns.
Furthermore, states have the right to define the institution of marriage, Feldman wrote.
Adds Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner:
Feldman, appointed to the bench in 1983 by President Reagan, noted his departure from other judges, writing, “It would no doubt be celebrated to be in the company of the near-unanimity of the many other federal courts that have spoken to this pressing issue, if this Court were confident in the belief that those cases provide a correct guide.”
Feldman also says that Louisiana has a "legitimate" interest in seeing children in one man-one woman families and frames it as a battle of democratic process vs. "lifestyle choices", says same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right, expresses concern about other marriage bans, calls the application of 'heightened scrutiny" to sexual orientation a form of "intellectual anarchy" and concludes there is a rational basis for the ban, notes Geidner.
We'll have analysis from our legal editor Ari Ezra Waldman coming up shortly…
From the order:
"This national same-sex marriage struggle animates a clash between convictions regarding the value of state decisions reached by way of the democratic process as contrasted with personal, genuine, and sincere lifestyle choices recognition."
Read the order below: