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Louisiana Gay Marriage Ban Upheld By Federal Judge

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LOUISIANA STATEHOUSE
A federal judge in Louisiana has upheld that state's gay marriage ban. | todd landry photography via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Bucking a nationwide trend, a federal judge in Louisiana upheld a state ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, writing that "any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental" and that gay marriage was "inconceivable until very recently."

"The Court is persuaded that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational on the constitutional grid," U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, wrote.

Feldman noted that his was the only federal court to uphold a gay marriage ban since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last year.

"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," Feldman wrote.

The court "hesitates with the notion that this state's choice could only be inspired by hate and intolerance," the judge wrote, holding that Louisiana "has a legitimate interest ... whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others ... in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents."

Feldman said that "inconvenient questions persist" about the recognition of same-sex marriage and posed a few slippery-slope questions of his own.

"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," he wrote.

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