If you had told me even back in 2013 when the Windsor decision came out that the Supreme Court would uphold a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in all fifty states barely 2 years later, I would have been very skeptical, even in those heady times. I could not be happier to have been proven wrong! Today’s historic ruling means that same-sex couples will soon have the right to marry in Louisiana, and any same-sex couples validly married in any state will have their marriages recognized in Louisiana (or indeed, in any part of the country).
As Justice Kennedy said in the majority, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
We are so proud of Justice Kennedy’s opinion, and his/her words will be recognized as one of the most important human rights victories of this century. We will let you know as soon as there is a ruling in our Louisiana case applying the Supreme Court’s decision, but in the meantime we hope state officials move swiftly to implement the Constitution’s clear command and eliminate barriers to marriage. If you have been waiting to get married, we would encourage you to apply for a license at your local Clerk of Court (or the Department of Vital Records if you reside in Orleans Parish), and please call 225-323-8380 if you have trouble applying for a license, as we will document any issues and we will work with the Clerks’ offices to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
This is a massive win for freedom, equality, inclusion, and love. This is a day for celebration. Please join with us at Jackson Square at 5:30 as we will rally to celebrate the newfound freedom to marry in Louisiana. Click here for more information. There will also be gatherings in Shreveport and Baton Rouge on this momentous day!
Executive Director, Forum for Equality