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Vote on Louisiana gay marriage ban still up in the air

Vote on Louisiana gay marriage ban still up in the air

Louisiana already has a law banning gay marriage, but two appeals courts were set to hear arguments over a proposed constitutional amendment that would reaffirm that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Lawyers on both sides of lawsuits over the amendment agree that the matter will move through appeals courts in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to the state supreme court, which will decide whether the proposed amendment will appear on the September 18 ballot. The two suits were filed on behalf of Louisiana residents and argue that the proposed ban would invalidate custody rights and contracts of couples who are not married, whether they're gay or not. The state has argued that the amendment would not endanger such contracts. Judges' rulings on the suits thus far have dealt with more procedural matters. The New Orleans civil district judge ruled Friday that the amendment should not go to voters next month because it deals with more than one issue and because September 18 is not actually a statewide election date. The first circuit court of appeal in Baton Rouge had arguments scheduled in one lawsuit for Monday morning. The fourth circuit in New Orleans had arguments set in a similar suit Monday afternoon.

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