According to NOLA.com, Louisiana’s Department of Vital Records is now recognizing them after the federal district court that once upheld the marriage ban in the state reversed its decision and upon guidance from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Washington Blade confirmed with the agency the state will now recognize same-sex marriages.
“Today the Eastern District Court of Louisiana ordered the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who complete a marriage application at the Department’s Office of Vital Records in Orleans Parish,” Olivia Hwang, spokesperson for the agency is quoted as saying.
Jindal, who’s running for the Republican nomination for president as a social conservative, has stalled on implementation of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage at every possible turn.
After the Supreme Court decision was handed down, he said his administration wouldn’t recognize same-sex marriages — including for tax purposes and other states benefits — until action from the Fifth Circuit, which was considering litigation directly challenging the state’s marriage ban.
But after the Fifth Circuit acted on Thursday, reversing the judgment of a district court that upheld Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage and remanding the litigation to the court, Jindal delayed implementation again, saying through a spokesperson the district court would have to issue judgment before the state would recognize same-sex marriage.
Only after U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman issued judgment in the litigation, Robicheaux v. Caldwell, did Jindal’s administration concede Louisiana was a marriage-equality state.
Kenneth Upton, senior counsel Lambda Legal and attorney for same-sex couples in the case, said Jindal dragged out implementation of the Supreme Court decision.
“While we wonder why Gov. Jindal insisted on dragging his feet in complying with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and the subsequent very clear order from the Fifth Circuit, we are pleased for our clients and all same-sex couples in Louisiana that they will now be able to marry and have their marriages recognized by the state,” Upton said.
Jindal is facing litigation filed by American Civil Liberties Union over his religious freedom executive order allowing individuals to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage, including for the purposes of anti-LGBT discrimination. The governor signed the executive order after legislation along those lines failed in the legislature.