News (USA)

Federal judge to hear arguments in challenge to La. same-sex marriage ban

Federal judge to hear arguments in challenge to La. same-sex marriage ban

NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether Louisiana must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

Louisiana-flagWednesday morning’s hearing before U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman deals with lawsuits filed earlier this year by two same-sex couples married in Iowa who were seeking to have their marriages recognized by the state of Louisiana.

Those couples say Louisiana violates their rights to equal protection and due process by refusing to give them the rights of opposite-sex married couples.

The case has been consolidated with another challenge to Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban, filed in February on behalf of six same-sex couples and Forum for Equality Louisiana.

The state and opponents of gay marriage want Feldman to reject the suits. They argue that each state has the right to define marriage in its own way.

Lawyers on both sides of the issue cite parts of a Supreme Court decision last year that said legally married gay couples are entitled to the same federal benefits available to opposite-sex couples.

Follow the cases: Robicheaux v. George and Forum for Equality Louisiana v. Barfield.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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