NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana says he doesn’t need to hear any more arguments in the case of a same-sex couple challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, and has signaled he is prepared to rule the ban’s constitutionality.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman heard arguments in June regarding Louisiana’s refusal to recognize the unions of same-sex couples legally married in other states, but surprised litigants when he declared that he would not simply consider the out-of-state marriage recognition cases before him, but intended to rule on on Louisiana’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as well.
Feldman said he didn’t want to make a piecemeal ruling on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Earlier this week, Feldman issued an order stating that he has studied the briefs in the case and found that no further briefs or arguments are needed.
Feldman is considering two federal lawsuits: Robicheaux v. George was filed in January on behalf of two same-sex couples married in Iowa who were seeking to have their marriages recognized by the state of Louisiana; the other, Forum for Equality Louisiana v. Barfield, was filed in February on behalf of the Forum for Equality Louisiana and four married same-sex couples.
The cases were consolidated in March, and both lawsuits are challenging Louisiana’s constitutional prohibition against recognizing same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.
Feldman gave no indication when he will rule.