Supreme Court Kills Challenges to Louisiana Marriage Amendment Vote

A proposed constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage will face no more obstacles as it heads to the Louisiana Sept. 18 ballot after the U.S. Supreme Court killed the latest challenges t
( [email protected] ) Sep 04, 2004 03:52 PM EDT

The last obstacle for an initiative allowing Louisiana voters to cast ballots on a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage” has now been cleared after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal for the three lawsuits challenging the Sept. 18 vote.

Although the court did not give a reason for rejecting the suits, Justice Chief Justice Pascal Calogero and Justice John Weimer wrote in notes that they agreed with lower court's opinions that the suits were "premature" because state law allows an election challenge only after the vote takes place, reported the Associated Press.

"The court may yet have to address this constitutional question in a post-election challenge," Calogero wrote.

Opponents of the measure said that if the amendment is passed, an appeal is likely. The Forum for Equality, the group which filed the three suits, argued that it was illegal for the proposed marriage amendment to take up more than one issue.

Although Louisiana’s “Defense of Marriage Act” already bans same-sex “marriage” and prohibits recognizing same-sex “marriages” performed in other states, supporters of traditional marriage want the law protected in the constitution.

Supporters of the amendment in Louisiana are hoping the landslide victory in a similar initiative in Missouri could be repeated. A total of nine states are also scheduled to vote on an amendment defining marriage to be between a man and a woman this fall.

Alliance Defense Fund attorney Mike Johnson said he believed that Louisiana voters would approve the measure "by an overwhelming margin."

"This is a great day for democracy," Johnson said.