LGBT rights in Louisiana
|LGBT rights in Louisiana|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 2003
(Lawrence v. Texas)
|Discrimination protections||None (see below)|
|Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 1 limits marriage to man/woman, places restrictions on non-marriage types of same-sex unions
Louisiana Civil Code article 89 prohibits persons of the same sex contracting a marriage.
Louisiana Civil Code article 3520 bans the recognition of purported same-sex marriages from other states.
Consensual same-sex sexual activity is legal in Louisiana.
Laws against same-sex sexual activity
Sexual acts between persons of the same sex are legal in Louisiana. They were previously criminalized under the state's sodomy laws, which applied to both homosexuals and heterosexuals. They were rendered unenforceable in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
On September 18, 2004, by 78% to 22%, the voters of Louisiana approved a state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriages and civil unions. The measure did not ban domestic partnerships.
In August 2013, a lawsuit brought in federal court, Robicheaux v. Caldwell, challenged the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. The plaintiffs were a same-sex couple married in Iowa in September 2012. They were later joined by a second couple. The court dismissed the suit in November 2013 because it found that the only named defendant, the state attorney general, had taken no specific action with respect to the plaintiffs' marriages. In July 2013, a state trial court dismissed a similar suit brought by a lesbian couple who married in California, In Re Costanza and Brewer, and the plaintiffs have appealed that dismissal because it did not allow them to amend their complaint.
Adoption and parenting
Louisiana allows single persons to adopt and does not explicitly deny adoption or second-parent adoption to same-sex couples.
Louisiana has successfully defended in federal court its refusal to amend the birth certificate of a child born in Louisiana and adopted in New York by a same-sex married couple, who sought to have a new certificate issued with their names as parents as is standard practice for Louisiana-born children adopted by opposite-sex married couples. On July 11, 2011, Lambda Legal, representing the plaintiffs in the case, Adar v. Smith, asked the Supreme Court to review the case.
Discrimination protections concerning employment within the state were allowed to expire in 2008.
Hate crimes law
A February 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 29% of Louisiana voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 59% thought it should be illegal and 12% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 54% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 25% supporting same-sex marriage, 29% supporting civil unions, 41% opposing all legal recognition and 5% not sure.
An August 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 28% of Louisiana voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 63% thought it should be illegal and 10% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 56% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 23% supporting same-sex marriage, 33% supporting civil unions, 40% opposing all legal recognition and 4% not sure.
- Politics of Louisiana
- LGBT rights in the United States
- Rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States
- New York Times: "Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Law Banning Sodomy," June 26, 2003. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- "Same-sex marriage in Louisiana". Marriage.about.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- La. C.C. arts. 89, 3520
- Barnett, Kyle (August 2, 2013). "Louisiana Attorney General sued by gay man seeking to have marriage recognized". Louisiana Record. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Johnson, Chris (December 1, 2013). "Court dismisses La. marriage equality lawsuit". Washington Blade. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "Appeal: In Re Constanza and Brewer". Freedom to Marry. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Human Rights Campaign: Louisiana Adoption Law . Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- NOLA: "Gay dads lose appeal in Louisiana birth certificate case," April 12, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- Wall Street Journal: July 11, 2011. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- "Louisiana gov. drops gay anti-discrimination order". 365gay.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Louisiana Hate Crimes Law". Hrc.org. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Ramon Johnson, "Hate Crime Laws and Sexual Orientation". Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- "Clinton tied or ahead against GOP candidates in Louisiana" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "In Louisiana, Clinton Keeps Up, Governor Falls" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-05.