Louisiana

Louisiana

Forum for Equality Louisiana v. Barfield

What's Happening:

On March 18, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman moved to consolidate this federal case seeking respect for out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples with a similar case, Robicheaux v. George. A briefing schedule has been arranged as such: Motions for summary judgment due April 17; All briefs due May 12; Oral arguments scheduled for June 25.

Case Background:

On February 12, 2014, the Forum for Equality Louisiana filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of four same-sex couples seeking respect for their legal marriages in Louisiana. 

Several of the couples - including Andrew & Nick and Jackie & Lauren - are raising young children in New Orleans, and their lawsuit reflects that having their marriages disrespected in Louisiana poses potential legal challenges - and challenges they have already been burdened with - for their family. 

"We have full federal rights but no state rights,” Lauren Brettner said, discussing why she and Jackie were joining the lawsuit. “We face problems repeatedly, just because the State of Louisiana refuses to name two parents on our daughter’s birth certificate ... Louisiana unreasonably burdens us with paying for what legal documents we can execute, but those documents still leave an uncertainty that bothers us as parents."

Robicheaux v. George

What's Happening:

On March 18, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman moved to consolidate this federal case seeking respect for out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples under a similar case, Louisiana Forum for Equality v. Barfield. A briefing schedule has been arranged as such: Motions for summary judgment due April 17; All briefs due May 12; Oral arguments scheduled for June 25.

Case Background:

On July 16, 2013, private lawyers in New Orleans, LA filed a federal lawsuit in the 5th Circuit on behalf of a same-sex couple seeking respect for their marriage in Louisiana. The couple, Jon Robicheaux and Derek Pinton, married in Iowa in 2012 and need their home state of Louisiana to respect their marriage. The case was originally called Robicheaux v. Caldwell. 

On December 2, 2013, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman dismissed the lawsuit, explaining that the plaintiffs only named Attorney General James Caldwell as a defendant. The plaintiffs said they now plan to amend the complaint and name Secretary of the State Department of Revenue, Tim Barfiled, as the defendant. 

On January 13, 2014, attorneys in the case filed a new federal lawsuit, naming state officials in the Department of Health and Hospitals, and the Department of Revenue, as plaintiffs. 

In Re Costanza and Brewer

What's Happening:

On February 5, Judge Edward Rubin declared that a married same-sex couple had the freedom to legally adopt their son. The decision was filed in a state case that also seeks legal respect for the couple's marriage, but a lower court ruling dismissed the couple's marriage claims and is now being appealed.

Case Background:

Private lawyers filed a lawsuit in state court on behalf of one same-sex couple seeking to have their marriage respected by the state of Louisiana and the ability for one mother to legally adopt her son. Judge Edward B. Broussard ruled against the couple on July 26, 2013, and the case is now being appealed.

The plaintiffs are Angela Marie Costanza and Chastity Shanelle Brewer, who live in Lafayette, Louisiana and had legally married in California. 

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