Landmark Decisions’ Impact on Gay Rights In Louisiana

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Crowds gather on Jackson Square to celebrate the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions. They are two victories for same sex couples, yet here in Louisiana it’s bittersweet.

rallyShannon Powers has been married 37 years. She says, “We still don’t have equality here in Louisiana and it would be wonderful if we did. That would make it a fantastic day, but right now it’s bittersweet.”

Deb Guidry, Powers’ partner explains, “If I die tomorrow my social security benefits do not go to her. We put everything we had in our savings, in our 401k into our home to rebuild after Katrina so this city and this state could still move forward, and if I die tomorrow she will lose that house.”

Charlotte Klasson, President of the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association, says gay couples will receive benefits as any married couple would, but not in Louisiana. As of now, the benefits would only be recognized in states that sanction same sex marriages.

“I think there’s a lot of grey areas they are going to have to work out,” says Klasson.

Despite the uncertainty same sex couples and supporters still cheer anticipating a trickledown effect eventually changing the lives those here.

“It’s a step in the right direction. A step forward!”

“We think this is one of the final steps in the house of cards to fall.”

“We can’t stop here, especially in the state of Louisiana. There’s more work to be done, a lot more work to be done.”

“I just never would have imagined ten years ago that we’d be at this point.”