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Federal court upholds Louisiana marriage amendment

September 05, 2014

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A federal district court has upheld the constitutionality of the State of Louisiana’s definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman-- the first such federal court ruling since the Supreme Court’s US v Windsor decision in 2013.

Judge Martin L.C. Feldman, a Reagan appointee, wrote:

[M]ust the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female?

All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs’ counsel was unable to answer such kinds of questions; the only hesitant response given was that such unions would result in ‘significant societal harms’ that the states could indeed regulate. But not same-gender unions. This Court is powerless to be indifferent to the unknown and possibly imprudent consequences of such a decision. A decision for which there remains the arena of democratic debate.

 


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