News (USA)

La. AG appeals state court ruling that struck down same-sex marriage ban

La. AG appeals state court ruling that struck down same-sex marriage ban

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a decision by a Lafayette Parish judge who declared Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Attorney General James
Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell (R-La.)

Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell’s Office filed the appeal Friday. Caldwell asked the court to rule quickly.

But that might not happen.

U.S. Supreme Court justices will discuss in a closed-door conference Monday whether to hear any or all of the appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, where federal judges struck down bans on same-sex marriage. That meeting – the justices’ first since June – will be the first time the issue is before them.

That doesn’t mean the nation’s high court will immediately decide to hear any or all of the cases.

Caldwell’s office argued Friday that “Louisiana’s unique situation – where federal and state decisions have exposed state officials to inconsistent obligations respecting enforcement of Louisiana’s family laws – cries out for this court’s swift resolution of the state case.”

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The possibility of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court “does not absolve this court from its responsibility to address the trial court’s sweeping decision in an expeditious manner,” wrote attorney Kyle Duncan in the appeal filed Friday. Duncan has been hired by the Louisiana’s AG’s office to handle challenges to the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Judge Edward Rubin’s ruling, handed down Monday in the same-sex adoption case of Angela Costanza and her partner, Chasity Brewer, affects only the 15th Judicial District, which also includes Acadia and Vermilion parishes.

Rubin said Costanza may adopt her partner’s son and be listed as a parent on his birth certificate. The couple’s lawsuit said the state should recognize their marriage, which took place in California.

The decision has been suspended pending the state’s appeal and will have no immediate impact.

Follow this case: Costanza v. Caldwell.

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