Another blow for equality in Louisiana | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Another blow for equality in Louisiana

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 9:07 AM

A state court says a lesbian couple in Louisiana — legally married in California — are unconstitutionally discriminated against in Louisiana when it comes to adoption. The judge has ruled the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, despite the recent divergent view of a federal district judge.

This is the issue where equal rights really meets the road on same-sex marriage. It is one thing to argue that the state can set its rule on who may marry. It is another to say a state may deny privileges afforded people in other states on account of that. Think interracial marriage. I don't see how federal courts ultimately can deny Arkansas residents benefits to which they are legally entitled by their marriage in California or Iowa or the dozen or so other jurisdictions where it is legal. The constitution provides U.S. citizens the "full faith and credit" of laws passed in other states. As yet, the courts haven't fully embraced that the idea that the Constitution applies in every respect to gay people. But the day is coming.

BY THE WAY: I don't think I ever linked the brief filed by Catholic Bishop Anthony Taylor before the Arkansas Supreme Court in favor of bans on same-sex marriage. He's asked for the court to consider his friend of the court brief as it considers Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling invalidating the ban. The bishop defends the "traditional institution" of husband-wife marriage.  The brief said the church had no "animus" toward gay people. Just toward their being treated with the same rights and privileges afforded others.

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