La. judge likens gay marriage ban to past prohibitions of interracial marriage _lowres

District Judge Edward Rubin

A state judge has suspended his ruling that struck down Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban, effectively putting the decision on hold pending an appeal by the state Attorney General’s Office, according to an order released Thursday.

Fifteenth Judicial District Judge Edward Rubin’s ruling earlier this week was not expected to have any immediate impact in other jurisdictions, but his order granting the state’s request to suspend the ruling makes clear that no marriage license will be issued in Lafayette Parish until the issue is resolved.

One couple tried, but failed, to get a marriage license Thursday from the clerk of court, according to a news release from Equality Louisiana, a gay-rights advocacy group.

Desiree Navarre, of Duson, plans to marry her partner, Destini Theriot, in January. “We want to be married here, in Louisiana, because this is our home,” Navarre said.

Attorney Kyle Duncan, who was hired by the state to handle challenges to the same-sex marriage ban, wrote in court filings that the state will appeal the ruling directly to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Supporters of same-sex marriage have praised Rubin’s ruling, which came just weeks after U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman upheld the same-sex ban in a case out of New Orleans.

The Louisiana Supreme Court is under no timeline to hear an appeal of Rubin’s decision. The issue is expected to soon be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A decision there would trump any state court ruling.

Keith Werhan, a constitutional law professor at Tulane University Law School, said in an interview this week that he would expect the Louisiana Supreme Court to hold off ruling on any challenges to the same-sex ban, given the likelihood of the nation’s highest court taking up the issue.

Rubin made his ruling in an adoption case involving Angela Costanza and Chasity Brewer. They legally married in California in 2008 and now live in Lafayette.

Costanza sought to be legally recognized as a parent to Brewer’s son, which raised the issue of the validity under Louisiana law of their California marriage license.

Rubin found that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment and the U.S. Constitution’s “full faith and credit clause,” which calls for each state to recognize the laws and court decisions of other states.

The judge also declared unconstitutional a state Department of Revenue policy that barred same-sex couples from filing joint state tax returns.