POLITICS

The 6 Most F*&%ed Up Parts Of The Louisiana Gay Marriage Ruling

09/03/2014 07:49 pm ET | Updated Sep 04, 2014
Edward Olive - fine art photographer via Getty Images

A federal judge in Louisiana upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday.

While the federal judges who struck down other same-sex marriage bans wrote about love and equality in their rulings, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman called same-sex marriage "inconceivable."

You can read the ruling here, and see a few of the most f*&%ed up parts -- offset in grey -- below:

1. Feldman incorrectly claims being gay is a choice.

This national same-sex marriage struggle animates a clash between convictions regarding the value of state decisions reached by way of the democratic process as contrasted with personal, genuine, and sincere lifestyle choices recognition.

2. Feldman argues same-sex marriage was "inconceivable until very recently" and claims there's no fundamental right for same-sex couples to be legally wed.

No authority dictates, and plaintiffs do not contend, that same-sex marriage is anchored to history or tradition. The concept of same-sex marriage is "a new perspective, a new insight," nonexistent and even inconceivable until very recently... Many states have democratically chosen to recognize same-sex marriage. But until recent years, it had no place at all in this nation's history and tradition. Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental... There is simply no fundamental right, historically or traditionally, to same-sex marriage.

The American legal battle over same-sex marriage has been going on since the 1970s, and "male-bonding ceremonies" took place in the 12th and 13th centuries, as detailed in a 2012 report by The Week.

3. Feldman misuses legal phrases.

As ThinkProgress pointed out Wednesday, Feldman referred to "strict scrutiny" -- the most stringent standard of constitutional review used by a court -- as "heightened scrutiny," a more general term that refers to varying levels of review. Feldman also incorrectly references Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' dissenting opinion in United States v. Windsor -- which found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional -- while arguing against the legality of same-sex marriage.

(Read more on this over at ThinkProgress.)

4. Feldman says all the other judges who struck down gay marriage bans were wrong.

It would no doubt be celebrated to be in the company of the near-unanimity of the many other federal courts that have spoken to this pressing issue, if this Court were confident in the belief that those cases provide a correct guide.

The depth of passion inherent in the issues before this Court defies definition. That federal courts thus far have joined in the hopeful chorus that the tide is turning seems ardent and is an arguably popular, indeed, poignant, outcome (whether or not credibly constitutionally driven). Perhaps, in the wake of today's blurry notion of evolving understanding, the result is ordained. Perhaps in a new established point of view, marriage will be reduced to contract law, and, by contract, anyone will be able to claim marriage. Perhaps that is the next frontier, the next phase of some "evolving understanding of equality," where what is marriage will be explored. And as plaintiffs vigorously remind, there have been embattled times when the federal judiciary properly inserted itself to correct a wrong in our society. But that is an incomplete answer to today's social issue.

5. Feldman compares same-sex marriage to incest and polygamy.

For example, must the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female? All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs.

6. Feldman makes a false claim about the 14th Amendment.

While referencing Loving v. Virginia -- the Supreme Court case that struck down laws against interracial marriages -- Feldman claims the 14th Amendment "expressly condemns racial discrimination as a constitutional evil." But that's not true.

The 14th Amendment forbids states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or denying "to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws," without making specific mention of race.

Language has been adjusted to clarify where Judge Feldman misrepresented the 14th Amendment.

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