State Judge Rejects
Gay Marriage Ban
The New York Times
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 6, 2004
BATON ROUGE, La., Oct. 5 (AP) - A state
judge on Tuesday threw out a Louisiana constitutional amendment
banning same-sex marriage, less than three weeks after voters
overwhelmingly approved it.
The judge, William A. Morvant of the 19th
Judicial District Court, said the amendment was flawed because
it had more than one purpose: banning not only gay marriage but
also civil unions.
Groups that oppose same-sex marriage expressed
outrage, and Michael Johnson, a lawyer for supporters of the amendment,
said he would appeal.
"We have judges acting in arrogance
to usurp the actions of the Legislature and deny the voters of
Louisiana who voted overwhelmingly to support the protection of
marriage," said Tony Perkins, president of the conservative
Family Research Council in Washington.
A gay-rights group called Forum for Equality
had challenged the amendment, arguing among other things that
combining the issues of same-sex marriage and civil unions in
one ballot question violated state law.