Thursday, September 04, 2014

District Court Upholds Louisiana's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

A Louisiana federal district court yesterday became only the second court (see prior posting) after the U.S. Supreme Court's Windsor decision to uphold a state law banning same-sex marriage.  In Robicheaux v. Caldwell,  (ED LA, Sept. 3, 2014), the court rejected the argument that heightened scrutiny should apply, and concluded that Louisiana had a rational basis for addressing the meaning of marriage through the democratic process. It held:
This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest...whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents.... 
This Court has arduously studied the volley of nationally orchestrated court rulings against states whose voters chose in free and open elections, whose legislatures, after a robust, even fractious debate and exchange of competing, vigorously differing views, listened to their citizens regarding the harshly divisive and passionate issue on same-sex marriage. The federal court decisions thus far exemplify a pageant of empathy; decisions impelled by a response of innate pathos.  Courts that, in the words of Justice Scalia in a different context ... appear to have assumed the mantle of a legislative body. 
SCOTUSblog reports on the decision.