A federal judge has bucked the current trend and ruled that states have the right to define “marriage” for themselves.
Judge Martin L. C. Feldman upheld the Obama-shunted principle of federalism when he ruled Wednesday that the Louisiana definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman needs no “redefinition” according to the U.S. Constitution, the Daily Signal reported.
The judge said that the regulation of marriage, supported by 78 percent of Pelican State citizens in 2004, was a state right and part of the democratic process; that no fundamental right was being violated by the ban on other types of marriages; and that Louisiana had 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.”
“It’s refreshing to see this recognition of the right of states to manage their own affairs,” the Louisiana attorney general, Buddy Caldwell, said in a statement, reported by the New York Times.
Judge Feldman ruled that “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.”
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Opponents of the decision, much of which rested on the Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act case, U.S. v Windsor, wherein regulation of domestic relations was a state issue, were quick to voice their displeasure.
“We always anticipated that it would be a difficult challenge,” said J. Dalton Courson, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, sponsored by the gay rights group Forum for Equality. He added that they would appeal the decision.
Feldman, a 1983 President Ronald Reagan federal bench nominee, said there were too many unanswered questions about such a “fundamental social change” for the courts to supplant the popular will. He posed a Pandora’s box of hypotheticals such as marriage between an aunt and a niece, aunt and nephew, father and child, brother and brother, transgender and spouse, and stressed that marriage regulations should be resolved between citizens and their elected officials.
Although this supports the Constitution’s intention to leave all powers to the states not specifically delegated to the national government, this could be overturned in 2015, if the Supreme Court hands down a one-size-fits-all ruling for the definition of marriage in its next session.
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