A man named Michael Robinson and his partner Earl Benjamin were the first in line Friday to apply for a marriage licence in New Orleans after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
In New Orleans, Robinson and his partner turned in their paperwork with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
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“Hurry up and get in here before Jindal ruins this,” Robinson told Benjamin as he arrived late, worried that Gov. Bobby Jindal would try and intercede to keep clerks from handing out licences.
Louisiana is in an odd legal position compared with other states. Most federal judges faced with the decision have already ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the U.S. Constitution. But last September, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans became the first federal judge to come down the other way. His ruling is under review at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Robinson and Benjamin appeared to get good news at the clerk’s office, where a dozen of their friends had arrived to share the moment. A manager said he was waiting for approval from the legal department and expected a “system update” some time Friday that would pave the way for them. Still, the final outcome for them remained unclear Friday morning.
“We’re Southern boys,” Robinson said. “We wanted it to happen here.”