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2:13-cv-05090 #100

2:13-cv-05090 #100

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc 100 - Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' partial Summary Judgment and dismissal
Doc 100 - Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' partial Summary Judgment and dismissal

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Published by: Equality Case Files on May 25, 2014
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08/16/2014

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1158700v1
U
NITED
S
TATES
D
ISTRICT
C
OURT
E
ASTERN
D
ISTRICT OF
L
OUISIANA
J
ONATHAN
P.
OBICHEAUX
,
et al.
,
 Plaintiffs
v.J
AMES
D.C
ALDWELL
,
et al.
,
 Defendants
*************C
IVIL
A
CTION
 N
O
.13-5090
C
/
W
14-97&14-327S
ECTION
F(5)J
UDGE
M
ARTIN
L.C.F
ELDMAN
M
AGISTRATE
M
ICHAEL
 N
ORTH
REF:
 
A
LL
C
ASES
****************************************
PLAINTIFFS' MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS'MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DISMISSAL
Case 2:13-cv-05090-MLCF-ALC Document 100 Filed 05/19/14 Page 1 of 25
 
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1158700v1
Plaintiffs oppose Defendants'Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Dismissal (Rec. Doc.84).
I.SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
In these consolidated marriage-equality cases, the Court permitted the parties to submit cross-motions on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires Louisiana to recognize same-sex marriages validly celebrated in other jurisdictions. Rec. Doc.75. Plaintiffs submitted a motion for partial summary judgment, Rec. Doc.86, and Defendants submitted a cross-motion for  partial summary judgment and dismissal. Rec. Doc.84. The parties' cross-motions present two  primary issues: (1) the level of constitutional scrutiny that the Court should apply to Louisiana's Anti-Recognition Laws
1
and (2) whether Defendants have provided a sufficient rationale.To support their motion, each Defendantsubmitted an affidavit attestingthat he or she must refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples because ofcurrent Louisiana lawand only for that reason. Barfield Aff., Rec. Doc.84-4 at ¶ 8; Kliebert Aff., Rec. Doc.84-5 at ¶¶ 8-10; George Aff., Rec. Doc.84-6 at ¶¶ 6-9. Defendants offer no evidence to support the laws  beyond those three affidavits,but they argue that they are entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. Specifically, Defendants offer two arguments in support of the Anti-Recognition Laws:that the laws promote heterosexual marriage, which "links children with their biological  parents", and that recognition of same-sex marriage should only occur through "social consensus."Both arguments are specious andbelied by the undisputed facts of this case.
2
 
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As defined in Plaintiffs' original brief, Louisiana's Anti-Recognition Laws are Article XII, Section 15 of the Louisiana Constitution, Louisiana Civil Code article 3520(B), and any other Louisiana laws denying recognition to valid same-sex marriages celebrated in other jurisdictions.
2
In opposition to Defendants' motion, Plaintiffs incorporate the argument and evidence they submitted to support their motion for partial summary judgment.
Case 2:13-cv-05090-MLCF-ALC Document 100 Filed 05/19/14 Page 2 of 25
 
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1158700v1
The Anti-Recognition Laws do not promote heterosexual marriage at all. Instead, they harm same-sex couples and their families. It is an undisputed fact that three of the Plaintiff couples are raising children. One couple, Courtney and Nadine Blanchard, used assisted reproductive technology to conceive their child. Ex. 3 to Pls.'Mot, Rec. Doc.86-7 at ¶ 13; Ex. 4 to Pls.'Mot, Rec. Doc.86-8 at ¶ 13. The couple used Courtney's egg, butNadine carried the child.
3
 
 Id.
Because Nadine gave birth to the child, Louisiana only recognizes heras the child's motherthoughthe child is biologically Courtney's.
 Id.
 The Blanchards exemplifythe deficiency of Defendants'contention that the Anti-Recognition Laws have the purpose of "linking children with biological parents." Rec. Doc.84-1 at 16. Instead, these laws havethe oppositeeffect. The sole purpose and effect of the Anti-Recognition Laws is to demean and deny recognition to validly married same-sex couples. In the process, the laws harm children by
denying 
a link  between a parentand her child—even when they share a biological link. Defendants'argument that Louisiana law should only change through social consensuslacks fundamental understanding of (or simply ignores) the history of Louisiana andcurrent events. In the late 1950's and 1960's, despite a lack of social consensuson the issue, this Courtwas required tointervene when Louisianaresisted racial integration. And just last month, the Louisiana Legislature refusedto prohibithousing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientationand maintained an anti-sodomy lawthat blatantly violates the United States Constitution. Clearly, discrimination against Plaintiffs and other same-sexcouples will not end through social consensus. Like racial segregation, a change in the unconstitutional Anti-Recognition Laws—which serve only to institutionalize and sanction discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual Louisianans—requiresintervention by this Court. 
3
Many couples are using this method of conception, known as reciprocal in vitrofertilization.
 
Case 2:13-cv-05090-MLCF-ALC Document 100 Filed 05/19/14 Page 3 of 25

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