WASHINGTON – U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman became the first federal court judge to rule against same-sex marriage this week when he ruled that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage passes constitutional muster. He found that “Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental” and that were he to rule in favor of such unions it would “open up a Pandora’s Box of options which would be far too confusing” to sort out.
In his ruling, Judge Feldman- who was appointed to the bench by President Reagan in 1983- acknowledged that his ruling differed from every other ruling by a federal judge on the topic of same-sex marriage. “It would no doubt be celebrated to be in the company of the near-unanimity of the many other federal courts that have spoken to this pressing issue, if this Court were confident in the belief that those cases provide a correct guide,” he wrote. “But there were just too many issues to wrap my head around, and it was simply easier to say no.”
Judge Feldman claimed to base his ruling against same-sex marriage on the best interests of children, writing, “This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has 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.”
When asked if that meant his ruling should be seen as outlawing marriage between heterosexual couples who choose not to have children, he threw up his hands in frustration. “See what I mean? How should I know? It’s all so confusing!”
Judge Feldman closed his findings noting that he did not expect his ruling to be the last word in the matter. “Many other courts will have an opportunity to take up the issue of same-sex marriage; courts of appeals and, at some point, the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision of this Court is but one studied decision among many,” he wrote. “Which is why I really don’t have a problem with passing the buck on this one.”