The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on
Wednesday overturned a lower court's ruling upholding Louisiana's ban
on gay marriage.
Saying that the ban is “anchored to
the Democratic process,” U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who
was nominated to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan,
last year upheld Louisiana's ban.
The case was filed by LGBT rights group
Forum for Equality Louisiana on behalf of four gay couples who said
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 who were denied a marriage license.
The decision broke a string of
victories in federal courts for marriage equality supporters since
the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013.
Plaintiffs in the case appealed to the
Fifth Circuit, which put the case, and similar challenges from Texas
and Mississippi, on hold until the Supreme Court ruled in a case
challenging bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky, titled
Obergefell v. Hodges.
“Obergefell, in both its
Fourteenth and First Amendment iterations, is the law of the land
and, consequently, the law of this circuit and should not be taken
lightly by actors within the jurisdiction of this court,” the Fifth
“Because this court agrees that that
is the required result, the judgment appealed from is REVERSED, and
this matter is REMANDED for entry of judgment in favor of the
The Fifth Circuit also upheld lower
court rulings striking down bans in Texas and Mississippi.
appeals court ruling, Bobby Jindal blocks Louisiana recognition of