A federal judge has signaled he's ready
to rule on a challenge to Louisiana's gay marriage ban.
LGBT rights group Forum for Equality
Louisiana filed the case in February on behalf of four gay couples
who say the state's refusal to recognize their out-of-state marriages
violates the U.S. constitutional guarantees of equal protection and
due process. The case was consolidated with a similar challenge
involving two gay couples.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who
was nominated to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan,
heard arguments in the case last month in New Orleans.
Feldman has already stated that he
wants to broaden the case's scope to include whether gay couples
should be allowed to wed in the state, saying it would be unfair to
“I feel uncomfortable resolving some
issues one way or the other and not all the issues one way or
another,” Feldman said at the end of last month's 90-minute
According to NBC
affiliate KTAL, Feldman last week issued an order stating he
needs no further briefs or argument to decide the case.
An overwhelming majority (78%) of
voters approved Louisiana's 2004 constitutional amendment which
states that marriage “shall consist only of the union of one man
and one woman” and prohibits state officials and judges from
recognizing the out-of-state marriages of gay couples.
The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the
amendment in 2005.