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Louisiana judge: Gay marriage ban unconstitutional

by Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, in part because it violates equal protection rights, a state judge ruled Monday.

Judge Edward Rubin said the ban violated the 14th Amendment and the constitutional requirement that states give “full faith and credit” to each other’s laws, KLFY-TV reported. His ruling came in same-sex adoption case of Angela Costanza and her partner, Chasity Brewer.

The judge said Constanza 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.

Laura Gerdes, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, said the office disagrees with the ruling and started the appeals process.

Lafayette attorney Joshua Guillory, who represents the women, did not return telephone calls or emails from The Associated Press seeking comment.

“This is one more ruling in a cascade of rulings from state and federal courts all across the country in favor of the freedom to marry and saying it’s time to end marriage discrimination,” said Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, which tracks same-sex marriage cases nationwide.

Federal judges in more than 20 states have struck down such bans since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

In a different same-sex adoption case in 2011, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that neither full faith and credit clause nor the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause require Louisiana to put names of two same-sex parents on the birth certificate of a child legally adopted in another state. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

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