A Louisiana appeals court will next take up the fight over a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and other civil unions. Attorneys had asked the Louisiana supreme court to hear the suit next, bypassing the first circuit court of appeal in Baton Rouge, but the high court decided to allow the normal appellate process to be followed, said supreme court spokeswoman Valerie Willard. A five-judge panel of the first circuit will hear arguments Wednesday.
Last week state district judge William Morvant ruled that the legislature's approval of the amendment was constitutionally flawed and that the statewide vote on it should be set aside.
Voters approved the constitutional amendment 78% to 22% in the September 18 referendum, but Morvant said the measure covered two issues, a violation of the state constitution. Besides banning same-sex marriages, Morvant said, the amendment prevents the state from recognizing any legal status for common-law relationships, domestic partnerships, and civil unions of gay and heterosexual couples.