District judge orders La. to recognize same-sex marriages
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge ordered Thursday that Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban was officially overturned and the state must recognize such unions immediately.
The order from U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans specifically said the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in line with the Supreme Court's decision last week.
After the Supreme Court's ruling Governor Bobby Jindal, who is running for president, said Louisiana would continue to enforce its ban until they received a court order. The Fifth Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued such an order earlier this week but Jindal continued to delay, saying they would wait for Feldman's ruling.
Many Louisiana clerks of court began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday. One holdout was the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for issuing licenses in New Orleans. On Thursday they said they had changed their documents and were issuing marriage licenses in line with the order.
The Forum for Equality called on Jindal to immediately comply with Feldman's order. The group's attorneys backed the lawsuit challenging Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages, and the district court ruled they should also be awarded costs and attorney's fees.
The Jindal administration issued the following response to the ruling: "This order directs the agencies to comply and all questions about processing benefits should be directed to them."