First Michigan, now Louisiana. Another state is declaring that a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. A Louisiana judge yesterday declared that a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions is unconstitutional. Three weeks ago, the amendment passed with 78 percent of the vote.
Unlike the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, which attempted to prevent the amendment from reaching voters at all, Louisiana Supreme Court allowed the amendment to be placed on the ballot before deciding whether or not it was constitutional. Yesterday, Judge William Morvant said the amendment violates the state constitution's requirement that amendments only address one issue.
"Morvant, a Republican, said the amendment is flawed because, while the state constitution prevents a law or constitutional amendment from having more than one purpose or objective, it contains two 'objects,'" writes the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The amendment forbids both marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples.
"The issue here is whether the issue was properly put to the voters," Morvant said. "It is not about public support or public morality. It is about compliance with the constitution."
Gay-rights groups are naturally encouraged by the decision, but the overwhelming support for the amendment will make it difficult to ultimately block the ban.
The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins responded to the decision. "During my time in the Louisiana legislature, I worked on occasion with Judge Morvant. I am disappointed that he failed to recognize the right of the voters and the legislature to decide the fate of marriage in Louisiana."
James Dobson also rejected the decision. "The will of the people of Louisiana ...1