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Robicheaux v Caldwell (Dist. Louis. 2014)-2

Robicheaux v Caldwell (Dist. Louis. 2014)-2

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Published by G-A-Y
Bad decision from federal judge in Louisiana
Bad decision from federal judge in Louisiana

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Published by: G-A-Y on Sep 03, 2014
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09/12/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTEASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA JONATHAN P. ROBICHEAUX, ET AL.CIVIL ACTIONv.NO. 13-5090 C/WNO. 14-97 & NO. 14-327  JAMES D. CALDWELL, SECTION "F"LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL, ET AL.ORDER AND REASONSBefore the Court are cross motions for summary judgment. TheCourt finds that defendants in this passionately charged nationalissue have the more persuasive argument. The State of Louisianahas a legitimate interest under a rational basis standard of reviewfor addressing the meaning of marriage through the democraticprocess. For the reasons that follow, plaintiffs' motion forsummary judgment is DENIED and defendants' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.Background These consolidated cases challenge the constitutionality of Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage and its choice not torecognize same-sex marriages that are lawful in other states. Plaintiffs include six same-sex couples who live in Louisiana andare validly married under the law of another state, one same-sexcouple who seeks the right to marry in Louisiana, and the Forumfor1
Case 2:13-cv-05090-MLCF-ALC Document 131 Filed 09/03/14 Page 1 of 32
 
Equality Louisiana, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization. Plaintiffs allege that Article XII, Section 15 of the LouisianaConstitution,
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 which defines marriage as between one man and onewoman, and article 3520(B) of the Louisiana Civil Code,
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 whichdenies recognition of same-sex marriages contracted in other statesas being against Louisiana's strong public policy, violate theirconstitutional rights to Equal Protection and Due Process.
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 They
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Marriage in the state of Louisiana shall consistonly of the union of one man and one woman. Noofficial or court of the state of Louisiana shallconstrue this constitution or any state law torequire that marriage or the legal incidentsthereof be conferred upon any member of any unionother than the union of one man and one woman. Alegal status identical to or substantially similarto that of marriage for unmarried individuals shallnot be valid or recognized. No official or courtof the state of Louisiana shall recognize anymarriage contracted in any other jurisdiction whichis not the union of one man and one woman.La. Const. art. 12, § 15.
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A purported marriage between persons of the samesex violates a strong public policy of the state oLouisiana and such a marriage contracted in anotherstate shall not be recognized in this state for anypurpose, including the assertion of any right orclaimas a result of the purported marriage.La. Civ. Code art. 3520(B).
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 Plaintiffs in Case Number 14-97 challenge Article XII,Section 15 of the Louisiana Constitution and Louisiana Civil Codearticle 3520(B). In their prayer for relief in their complaint,those plaintiffs mistakenly refer to Code article 3520(B)(1), whichdoes not exist, and to Article XII, Section 18 of the Constitution,but elsewhere in the complaint make clear that they mean Section15. Plaintiffs in Case Number 14-327 challenge "Article XII,Section 15 of the Louisiana Constitution, Article 3520(B) of the2
Case 2:13-cv-05090-MLCF-ALC Document 131 Filed 09/03/14 Page 2 of 32
 
also urge that the Louisiana Department of Revenue InformationBulletin No. 13-024,
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 which requires same-sex couples lawfullymarried in other states to certify on their Louisiana state incomeLouisiana Civil Code, and any other Louisiana laws that purport todeny recognition to the marriages of Plaintiffs and other same-sexcouples who are married under the law of another jurisdiction." Although those plaintiffs do not specifically identify the "otherLouisiana laws" in their complaint, plaintiffs' supplemental briesubmitted on July 16, 2014 requests "declaratory judgment holdingthat Louisiana Civil Code articles 86, 89, 3520(B), and Article 12,Section 15 of the Louisiana Constitution are unconstitutional...andthe Court should enjoin their enforcement." Article 86 of theLouisiana Civil Code, like Section 15 of the LouisianaConstitution, defines marriage as "a legal relationship between aman and a woman." Code article 89, similar to Code article 3520,prohibits purported marriages between persons of the same sex.
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 The bulletin provides in part:In compliance with the Louisiana Constitution,the Louisiana Department of Revenue shall notrecognize same-sex marriages when determiningfiling status. If a taxpayer's federal filingstatus of married filing jointly, marriedfiling separately or qualifying widow ispursuant to IRS Revenue Ruling 2013-17 [rulingthat same-sex couples legally married instates that recognize such marriages will betreated as married for federal tax purposes],the taxpayer must file a separate Louisianareturn as single, head of household orqualifying widow, as applicable. Thetaxpayer(s) who filed a federal returnpursuant to IRS Revenue Ruling 2013-17 may notfile a Louisiana state income tax return asmarried filing jointly, married filingseparately or qualifying widow. The taxpayermust provide the same federal income taxinformation on the Louisiana State Return thatwould have been provided prior to the issuanceof Internal Revenue Service Ruling 2013-17.La. Revenue Info. Bulletin No. 13-024 (Sept. 13, 2013).3
Case 2:13-cv-05090-MLCF-ALC Document 131 Filed 09/03/14 Page 3 of 32

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