Relaymedia

Courts Play Hot Potato with Lousiana Marriage Amendment

An appeals court has sent a case involving Louisiana’s recently passed same-sex ''marriage'' ban to the state Supreme Court on Wednesday.
( [email protected] ) Oct 13, 2004 09:01 PM EDT

An appeals court has sent a case involving Louisiana’s recently passed same-sex “marriage” ban to the state Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Attorneys had asked the Louisiana State Supreme Court to hear the case after State District Judge William declared an approved marriage amendment unconstitutional on grounds that it served two purposes, banning same-sex “marriages” and civil unions, violating the state’s Constitution which states amendments can only have one purpose.

The state’s constitution allows cases where voter-approved initiatives are rejected by the court to bypass an appeals court and proceed to the state Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court decided the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal should hear the case first.

Five justices from the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal heard arguments in the case Wednesday but sent it to the Supreme Court without ruling on any issues.

Louisiana voters approved the amendment by a landslide victory of 78 percent on the Sept. 18 ballot date.

Morvant’s decision to reject the approved vote on the amendment shocked amendment supporters, especially pro-family groups. A spokesperson of the Louisiana Family Forum noted the irony of the situation: an amendment that was supposed to take power from the judge and return it to the people gave power to the judge.

The amendment has been met with strong opposition even before Morvant’s ruling. Several suits were aimed to prevent the amendment from reaching the ballot. The U.S. Supreme Court later granted vote on the measure, saying it was unconstitutional to challenge an amendment before it was voted on.