Winning Streak Broken: Judge Upholds State's Gay Marriage Ban

Louisiana ruling will be appealed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 4, 2014 12:10 AM CDT
SarahJane Brady, executive director of Forum for Equality Louisiana, speaks during a rally in New Orleans after yesterday's decision.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – A federal judge upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages yesterday, a rare loss for gay marriage supporters who had won more than 20 consecutive rulings overturning bans in other states. US District Judge Martin Feldman also upheld the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. His ruling was the first to uphold a state ban since the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Gay rights advocates said they would carry the case to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which already has before it an appeal by the state of Texas of another federal judge's ruling that struck down that state's gay marriage ban. In 2004, 78% of Louisiana voters approved an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage, and Feldman said gay marriage supporters failed to prove that the ban violates equal protection or due process provisions of the US Constitution. He also rejected an argument that the ban violated the First Amendment by effectively forcing legally married gay couples to state that they are single on Louisiana income tax returns. (Read more same-sex marriage stories.)

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