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Religious Tolerance logo

Gay marriage [a.k.a. same-sex marriage (SSM)] in Louisiana

Part 6: 2015-JUN-28 and later:
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals instructs
federal judges in Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas
to issue their final SSM rulings by JUL-17.

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This topic is continued from the previous page

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2015-JUL-28: No marriage licenses were being issued in the state .... yet:

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell had issued a statement saying that his office:

"... found nothing in today's [[U.S. Supreme Court] decision that makes the Court's order effective immediately." 1

Attorney Kenneth Upton represents seven Louisiana same-sex plaintiff couples who are seeking permission to marry. He filed a request with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to:

"... summarily reverse and remand this case with instruction to the district court to immediately enter final judgment in favor of all appellants." 1

The Louisiana Clerks of Court Association and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (R) have both recommended that court clerks in the state wait for 25 days before issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) criticized both the Governor and Attorney General for their reluctance to proceed. He issued a statement saying: 

"We are a nation of laws, and Louisiana is no exception. The State has no legal authority to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples even a moment longer. ... It is time for Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to stop denying committed, loving couples in Louisiana their constitutional right to marry. They've waited long enough." 2

Tim Barfield, Secretary of the state's Department of Revenue discussed whether married same-sex couples will be able to file state tax returns jointly. He said:

"We should have some guidance in the next couple of weeks. These constitutional decisions are often very complex. It is really just way too premature." 2

Julia O'Donoghue, writing for the Times-Picaynne, said:

"Jindal will probably fight the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision if he has the opportunity. The governor is making religious liberty -- and the right to oppose gay marriage -- a cornerstone of his presidential campaign." 2

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Area served by the 5th Circuit Court
Map of south-central United States showing the
jurisdication of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal..

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2015-JUL-01: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling:

As shown above in gray, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over three states: Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas. The other ten Circuit Courts handle the remaining 47 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had accepted for review a gay marriage case involving seven plaintiff couples from Louisiana. They decided to not proceed with the case until the U.S. Supreme Court had released its ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. "Obergefell" is a consolidated case that grouped together separate lawsuits from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee. The High Court issued its decision on JUN-26, which overturned gay marriage bans across the entire United States, in all 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia.

However, same-sex couples in some states were not able to obtain their marriage licenses immediately and marry. This is because:

  • U.S. Supreme Court rulings generally do not become effective for a few weeks after being issued. This allows the losing side to decide whether to request that the High Court review its decision.

  • There are many dozens of lawsuits throughout the country involving gay marriage that had been decided by U.S. District Courts, but whose rulings had been stayed pending appeals to U.S. Circuit Courts. These stays would have to be removed, and some final jurisdictional procedures completed before all the impediments for marriage equality were removed.

In the case of Louisiana, a District Court judge had upheld the state's ban on gay marriage. This was a very unusual ruling because many dozens of state and U.S. District Courts had found very similar bans to be unconstitutional. Meanwhile, similar cases in Mississippi and Texas had declared those states' bans to be unconstitutional. The Administrations in all three states agreed that, under the circumstances, the 5th Circuit Court should issue an order instructing the various District Courts to issue orders legalizing same-sex marriage within their state.

On JUL-01, Circuit Judge Jerry Smith of the 5th Circuit issued three orders -- one each to federal district judges in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. It instructed them to issue their final rulings on or before JUL-17 to legalize gay marriage in their states. Smith emphasized the need for speed in his instruction to District Judge Martin Feldman in the Eastern District of Louisiana because one of the plaintiffs in his case was in declining health.

Spokesperson for Governor Jindal of Louisiana issued a statement that:

"Our agencies will follow the Louisiana Constitution until the District Court orders us otherwise." 3

In other words, they will not give any slack to same-sex couples. They will only issue marriage licenses when all the formal procedures are completed.

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Some people have concerns about the impact of marriage equality on the future of the United States:

Many religious conservatives are fearful of gay marriage becoming available across the U.S. They are frightened that God may be so opposed to marriage equality that he might retaliate against the country and its people. Fortunately, it appears that this type of attack has not happened in any of the approximately 21 other countries where marriage equality has been attained to date, including Canada which legalized gay marriages a decade ago.

B. Glindmeyer from Plaquemine, LA, appears to be an evangelical Christian. He posted a comment to The Advocate's article, saying:

"WITH DEEP REGRETS, I SAY: IT'S ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE!

I don't look at myself as a preacher, (I am a 'watchman on the wall'), but when I saw the 'Abomination of Desolation', standing where it ought Not to be, (Our Supreme Court), spewing filth from it's mouth, (legally sanctioning homosexual acts), I believe that GOD, America's GOD, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will let this nation slid into its own destruction at an alarming rate, for HE will no longer protect us as HE has done since our beginnings. HE destroyed 2 cities, Sodom, (where we get the word "Sodomy" from), and Gomorrah, in Divine retribution, (supernatural punishment of a person, a group of people, (Supreme Court), or everyone, (US), by a deity in response to some action by such).

I pray that everyone pray to our GOD for forgiveness, for our leaders and everyone that backed and supported this despicable act and that HE spare us from HIS right and just punishment!

I ask these things thru Christ, Jesus in GOD'S Name, So Be It." 1 (Spelling corrected).

To which Scott Cornelius responded:

"There's a church in Kansas you might be interested in: http:// www.godhatesfags.com/"

Glindmeyer replied:

"The only church I'm interested in is the church of YHVH!"

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More developments are expected in the near future

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Couples in Louisiana same-sex marriage case ask appeals court to act, reverse Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage," The Advocate, 2015-JUN-28, at: http://theadvocate.com/
  2. Julia O'Donoghue, "Bobby Jindal administration says Louisiana won't recognize gay marriage yet," The Times-Picaynne, 2015-JUN-26, at: http://www.nola.com/
  3. Jeff Amy, "5th Circuit Tells Courts to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Rulings," ABC News, 2015-JUL-1, at: http://abcnews.go.com/

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Site navigation:

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > SSM sub-menu > Louisiana > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage> Louisiana > here

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2015-JUL-02
Last updated 2015-JUN-02
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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