Same-sex marriages could remain unrecognized by authorities in Louisiana for at least a few more days, with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals asking for attorneys for both sides in a case brought against the state by a gay couple to present arguments on how it should proceed in the wake of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.
Written briefs are due Wednesday. It is not clear how long it will take the court to issue a decision after that.
State officials, including Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, have stalled efforts to introduce same-sex marriage in Louisiana since the ruling came out Friday, arguing they cannot allow their offices to recognize those unions until Friday’s Supreme Court decision is formally certified by either the 5th Circuit or the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 6th Circuit, which does not include Louisiana, oversees the case that eventually made it to the Supreme Court.
The case pending in the 5th Circuit also deals with same-sex marriage. The case was brought by a couple married in another state that sought to force Louisiana to recognize their marriage. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman dismissed that case. When the couple appealed to the Supreme Court, their petition was denied and the court took the 6th Circuit case instead.
While clerks in several parishes in the state, including Jefferson, East Baton Rouge, Ascension and St. Charles, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday, it is unclear whether they will be considered valid by the state until either Jindal or Caldwell gives the green light.
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