Should Louisiana recognize same-sex marriages from other states?
Today a federal judge will hear arguments whether Louisiana should recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The issue will come down to how US District Judge Martin Feldman interprets the Supreme Court's decision in the US v Windsor case.
Forum for Equality Louisiana chairman-elect, Chris Otten, says that decision has validated their argument.
"You cannot discriminate against similar groups of people without a sufficient justification," Otten insisted. "And the state hasn't given any, in our view, has not given any rational justifications to refuse to recognize these marriages."
Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills says gay rights advocates don't have a case because the US v Windsor decision allows states to develop their own laws concerning gay marriages.
"Kennedy wrote the opinion that the federal government does not have the prerogative to define marriage for federal purposes," Mills stated. "That's a uniquely state prerogative. Well, we're the state that's decided."
Otten says a ruling for Louisiana to recognize same-sex marriages would give gay married couples numerous benefits not afforded to them currently, like issues with inheritance laws, income taxes, retirement benefits, health insurance, and more.
"Also just from a psychological level and an emotional level, these families would finally be recognized by the state for what they are, which is loving, caring, real families. They're not fictitious, as the state likes to act like they are, right now," according to Otten.
Whatever way Feldman decides to rule on this issue, this case is most likely headed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mills is confident the judge will rule against the recognition. He feels same-sex marriage should not be recognized as a legal union between two people.
"That's a slippery slope that opens the door to a redefinition of marriage and family and I don't think that prevails in this court," the Family Forum President said.