Gay & Lesbian Couples Sue For Marriage Equality

In the fight for marriage equality, a lawsuit has been filed to force Louisiana to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has details.

It’s a union legally recognized by 17 of the United States.

Louisiana is among the 33 others that do not recognize same sex marriages.

That’s why the Forum for Equality Louisiana, together with four couples filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriages performed out of state.

“We’re seeking to give people the freedom to announce who they love and be recognized by their state for who they love,” said Chris Otten with the Forum for Equality Louisiana.

Forum for Equality is the state’s largest and oldest human rights organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

The lawsuit charges the state violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. It also charges that state officials infringe on the couple’s First Amendment Rights — by requiring them to claim that they are single on state tax returns.

“It’s a form of coerced speech the government is telling you have to sign this,” Otten added.

One of the couples filing suit are adoptive parents.

They’re worried about their child, should something happen to the legally recognized parent.

“They’re not being recognized as legal parents. Only one parent can register on the birth certificate.”

In Missouri, 8 other couples filed a similar lawsuit in the fight for marriage equality.

The legal maneuvers were purposely planned on the birthday of libertarian Abraham Lincoln.

“These couples aren’t seeking to redefine marriage, they want to join marriage. They want to join this institution and that’s what we’re fighting for,” Otten concluded.

The plaintiffs, as well as the Forum for Equality say they are prepared for a long and costly legal battle.

There’s been no word from the state.