A spokesman for Gov. Bobby Jindal issued a new statement Friday evening about whether the state will comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the country, suggesting the state will soon issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
First, the governor’s office is apparently waiting for the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to tell them to do so.
“Our agencies will have no choice but to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision when the 5th Circuit Court orders the ruling into effect — even though we disagree with it and believe it was wrongly decided, and has nothing to do with the Constitution,” wrote Mike Reed, Jindal’s communications director, in a statement.
Across most of Louisiana, elected clerks of courts are the officials who issue marriage licenses. But in New Orleans, the state Department of Health and Hospitals runs an office that also has responsibility for issuing licenses.
On Friday, three same-sex couples appeared at the DHH-run office, looking to obtain marriage licenses. They were eventually sent away, with a spokeswoman for the agency saying the Supreme Court decision is not yet in effect.
“Right now the Louisiana Constitution still is applicable … the mandate is not in place yet,” Olivia Watkins, DHH communications director said.
Attorneys for same-sex couples who filed a federal lawsuit in New Orleans seeking the right to marry have filed a request with the 5th Circuit to issue a ruling reversing Louisiana’s gay marriage ban. It is unclear when that will happen.