La. Judge Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A Louisiana state judge ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, at least in part because it violates equal protection rights.
     The office of Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said the ruling will be appealed.
     Judge Edward Rubin of the 15th Judicial Court in Lafayette ruled the same-sex marriage ban violated the 14th Amendment and also the constitutional requirement for states to recognize each another’s laws.
     The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their married status in Louisiana. Angela Costanza and her partner, Chastity Brewer, were already married in California and wanted to be recognized as married in Louisiana so that Costanza could legally adopt Brewer’s son whom they have raised together.
     Judge Rubin said Costanza could legally adopt the son and that Louisiana must recognize their marriage.
     Rubin’s ruling came less than three weeks after New Orleans federal judge Martin Feldman ruled in favor of the same-sex marriage ban, bucking a national trend. In his ruling, Feldman said gay right supporters had not proved the ban was unconstitutional. Feldman’s ruling will be argued before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in October.
     Nationwide, 19 states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.
     Ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court will have to decide on the issue. In the meantime, Rubin’s ruling will affect the district covering Lafayette, Acadia and Vermillion parishes (Louisiana has parishes instead of counties).
     Louisiana Attorney Buddy Caldwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
     Joshua Guillory, Costanza and Brewer’s attorney, said in an email that although he cannot comment on the ruling pursuant to the court’s order, he could say his clients “now feel as though the State of Louisiana, their home that they love, views them no differently than her other citizens.”
     “This is a great day for our State. We are all born with a gender, a race, and a sexual orientation. Judge Rubin was absolutely correct in his ruling and analysis. He is a judicial hero and has made a bold step in the fight for equality. Further, our clients, Chasity and Angela, are also very brave and selfless in this fight,” Guillory’s statement said.

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