BREAKING NEWS ~ Judge strikes down Louisiana gay marriage ban Amit Patel at 3:08 PM ET
A Louisiana state judge in Baton Rouge has thrown out the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The amendment had been overwhelmingly approved by 78% of the voters on September 18. Judge William Morvant decided the amendment was flawed because the Louisiana state legislature gave it more than one purpose, in that it banned both same-sex marriage and civil unions.
The legislature pushed through the ban this past spring as a response to Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage. In addition to flawed drafting, amendment opponents cited New Orleans election-day problems where voting machines were delivered late in many precincts and their belief that the amendment would affect private agreements between gay partners. Read the voter-approved amendment here [PDF]. AP has more. The lawsuit challenging the ban was brought by Forum for Equality, a New Orleans-based rights group.
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