The Supreme Court has already said that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, a decision that a federal appeals court reiterated Wednesday applies to Louisiana’s anti-gay marriage measures. But Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is holding out for yet another ruling before he allows the state to recognize marriages between gay couples.
Wednesday evening U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier district court’s decision in favor of Louisiana’s same-sex bans, citing last week’s Supreme Court decision. The appeals court sent the case back to the district court to issue a new order. A Jindal spokesman told The Times-Picayune that the state will wait for that district court to speak again before it falls in line.
“Our agencies will follow the Louisiana Constitution until the District Court orders us otherwise,” Mike Reed, a spokesman in the governor’s office, said.
The appeals court also acted on state bans in Mississippi and Texas Wednesday, directing lower courts to rule against anti-gay marriage measures once and for all there. States were free to began granting same-sex marriage license as soon the Supreme Court declared marriage constitutional right for gay couples, however some states insisted on waiting for lower courts to rule on the cases that apply directly to them before recognizing the marriages.
Jindal’s office had previously said that the state would wait for the appeals court order before recognizing the marriages. Now it appears the state will wait for yet a another procedural step.
The Jindal administration has also said that, under an executive order he signed in May as well as state and federal law, local clerks with religious objections can opt out of officiating same-sex marriages. The Louisiana-ACLU and other marriage equality advocates have filed a lawsuit challenging that executive order.