Louisiana’s attorney general said Friday that the state does not need to do away with its same-sex marriage ban in the immediate wake of a historic Supreme Court ruling that declared same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere.
“There is not yet a legal requirement for officials to issue marriage licenses or perform marriages for same-sex couples in Louisiana,” a statement from Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s (R) office read. “The Attorney General’s Office will be watching for the Court to issue a mandate or order making today’s decision final and effective and will issue a statement when that occurs.”
Caldwell noted in the statement that he’d already successfully defended a “traditional” definition of marriage at the federal court level — Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban was the first in the nation to be upheld by a federal court — and suggested that the Supreme Court was trampling on states’ rights.
“This Supreme Court decision overturns the will of the people of Louisiana, and it takes away a right that should have been left to the states,” he said in the statement. “Louisiana voters decided overwhelmingly to place in our constitution an amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.”
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that there are other obstacles to the start of same-sex marriage in Louisiana, at least for the next few days. Attorneys for seven same-sex couples filed a motion asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to enforce the Supreme Court’s ruling after it was handed down, which could delay the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.
The Louisiana Clerks of Court Association also has advised clerks to wait 25 days before issuing licenses, as that’s the amount of time parties to the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage case have to ask the justices to reconsider, according to the newspaper.