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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban is overturned

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge Jacqueline Brettner speaks to a crowd at Jackson Square on June 26. Brettner and her spouse Lauren were plaintiffs in a Louisiana suit challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban, which was overturned today by a federal judge in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling.
  • Jacqueline Brettner speaks to a crowd at Jackson Square on June 26. Brettner and her spouse Lauren were plaintiffs in a Louisiana suit challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban, which was overturned today by a federal judge in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling.

Update:  The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says marriage licenses are now available to same-sex couples in New Orleans.
Today the Eastern District Court of Louisiana ordered the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who complete a marriage application at the Department's Office of Vital Records in Orleans Parish. The Department made necessary modifications to the marriage license application printed forms and the certified copies. Additional long-term changes will be made to the Louisiana Electronic Event Registration System (LEERS) to accommodate the changes necessitated by the court's judgement. Marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by clerks of court in Louisiana and submitted to Vital Records will also be documented in the LEERS system.
A federal judge has recalled and rescinded a judgment upholding Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban. The order from U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman — who upheld the ban in his 2014 ruling — follows the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning same-sex marriage bans, as well as yesterday's Fifth District Court of Appeals ruling in the Louisiana case attempting to overturn the state's ban. The appellate court ruled the high court's decision is "the law of the land" and handed the case back to the District Court to reverse its ruling. Feldman complied this morning.

"It is so ordered that this Court's Order and Reasons and the accompanying Judgment dated September 3, 2014, are hereby recalled and rescinded."

Feldman's order overturns Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban and says the state must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples seeking them. Feldman's ruling also enforces the state to recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in other states, and that same-sex couples can jointly adopt and be recognized as parents on their children's birth certificates. The ruling also enforces the state to allow same-sex married couples to jointly file their taxes.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said he was waiting for the Fifth District's decision before he advised state agencies to comply with the law, but when that decision was handed down yesterday, Jindal said he wanted to wait, again, this time for the District Court.

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