U.S. News


Federal Judge Upholds La. Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Halts Trend

Countering more than 20 consecutive rulings, a Louisiana federal judge upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
Posted at 7:18 PM, Sep 03, 2014

In a break from the national trend, a Louisiana federal judge ruled to keep the state's ban on same-sex marriages and refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. 

Since parts of the Defense of Marriage Act were struck down by the Supreme Court last year, 21 other courts have ruled in favor of gay marriage. This is the first federal court to rule against it. 

Judge Martin Feldman of the Federal Court ruled the state's ban on gay-marriage was constitutional and would not be changed on Wednesday. 

Two homosexual couples had sued the state over the ban, with their lawyers arguing the state's ban forced them to lie about their marital status by making them check "single" on their tax returns.

But Feldman wasn't convinced, adding that he wouldn't be swayed by other court rulings. “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.”

With all the court rulings that have sided with same-sex couples in the past year, it's not surprising this latest ruling is getting a lot of attention.

The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, praised the ruling, saying it "puts the lie to the claim that it is inevitable the US Supreme Court will redefine marriage. To the contrary, we believe they will leave this issue with the states."

But the ruling was also attacked, with a writer for the gay-oriented magazine Queerty calling the ruling's language "homophobic." A writer for Daily Kos said Feldmen "clearly feels proud of himself for doing such an unfashionable thing ... But that's the sort of thing you have to keep telling yourself when you stand on the wrong side of history."

Legal analysts have long said they expect the issue of same-sex marriage to stay in flux until another case makes its way to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the plaintiffs say they will appeal Feldman's decision. 

This video includes images from Getty Images and the Office of U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman.