NEW ORLEANS — For the first time since last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision knocking down part of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, a federal court has ruled to uphold a state’s anti-LGBT marriage ban.
U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman ruled on Sept. 3 that Louisiana’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment does not violate the Constitution’s equal protection or due process guarantees.
“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.” wrote Feldman.
The judge ruled it was not the court’s place to make or approve policy.
Louisiana’s anti-LGBT marriage ban was approved in 2004 by 78 percent of voters. Same-sex marriage, though, is now legal in 19 states and in Washington, D.C. Several cases challenging a variety of states’ bans have been heard or are pending in several circuit courts of appeal.
A conservative anti-LGBT group, the Louisiana Family Forum, welcomed Feldman’s ruling.
“This ruling confirms that the people of Louisiana — not the federal courts — have the constitutional right to decide how marriage is defined in this state,” Gene Mills, the group’s president, said in a news release.
Plaintiffs in the case say they will appeal the ruling.
“Every citizen of the United States deserves protection of their rights, uphill climb or not,” said Mary Griggs, chairwoman of Forum for Equality Louisiana.
One in five children housed in Los Angeles County’s foster system identify as LGBTQ, according to a study released in late August by the UCLA’s Williams Institute, as much as twice as many the estimated percentage of general population youth who are LGBTQ.
A Mississippi man is alleging a teacher at a church-run school sexually abused him in an apparent attempt to change his sexual orientation shortly after he came out as gay in 1996. Now 32, Jeff White is hoping the Bethel Baptist school pastor and teacher will face justice.
The state congress of Mexico’s Coahuila voted Sept. 1 to legalize same-sex marriage. Civil unions began in the state in 2007. Coahuila, which borders Texas, is the third jurisdiction to open marriage to LGBT couples. Mexico City and the state of Quintana Roo allow marriages and the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that all 31 Mexican states must recognize legal same-sex marriages, even if they cannot be legally performed in their jurisdictions.
A young activist in Jamaica has dropped his unprecedented legal challenge to the Caribbean nation’s anti-gay laws banning sex between men, saying he feared growing violent backlashes.