The Supreme Court on Monday declined to
hear a case challenging Louisiana's ban on gay marriage.
The action was the first the high court
has taken involving the five cases currently seeking review.
In September, U.S. District Judge
Martin Feldman issued a 32-page ruling upholding the state's ban.
“Same-sex marriage is not recognized
in Louisiana and is reasonably anchored to the democratic process,”
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. Feldman broadened the case's scope to
include whether gay couples should be allowed to wed in the state.
The decision broke a string of
victories in federal courts for marriage equality supporters since
the Supreme Court's June 2013 decision striking down a key provision
of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Plaintiffs appealed the decision to
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where
it was heard last week, and the Supreme Court.
“The Court's denial of review in the
Louisiana same-sex marriage case is not a reliable indicator of the
Court's current interest in the authority of the states to ban
same-sex marriage,” SCOTUSBlog.com's
Lyle Denniston wrote. “The couples in the Louisiana case had asked
the Court to bypass the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,
and take on the case without waiting. The Justices' response
probably indicates a desire not to intrude into the review by the
Fifth Circuit, which held a hearing on the Louisiana case, and two
others, just last Friday.”
The court took no action on similar
cases out of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which became the
only federal appeals court to uphold such bans since the Windsor
decision when it overturned rulings striking down bans in Ohio,
Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky in November.