Bucking a trend in favor of re-defining marriage, this week a federal judge in Louisiana upheld Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban, stating that Louisiana’s laws and constitution are “directly related to achieving marriage’s historically preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents.”
Federal District Court Judge Martin Feldman stated in his order that a ban on same-sex marriage is related to a legitimate state interest and “[t]he court is persuaded that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational on the constitutional grid.”
Judge Feldman questioned the wisdom and legitimacy of a federal court re-defining marriage, stating that if he were to do so, “must the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two persons? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female?” These important questions and others will have to be addressed if marriage is re-defined in the U.S.
Judge Martin’s decision is likely to be appealed, and will be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appeals court for Louisiana. The 4th and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeals have already ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. If there were a dispute among the appellate courts, the issue would have to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.