So Much for Inclusion

The following is an excerpt of the federal district court opinion in Robicheaux v. Caldwell, 2 F.Supp.3d 910 (E.D. La. Sept. 3, 2014), a gay marriage case in which the judge concluded that “the defendants [the Louisiana Attorney General among others] have shown that Louisiana’s decision to neither permit nor recognize same-sex marriage, formed in the arena of the democratic process, is supported by a rational basis”

Plaintiffs include six same-sex couples who live in Louisiana and are validly married under the law of another state, one same-sex couple who seeks the right to marry in Louisiana, and the Forum for Equality Louisiana, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization.

The depth of passion inherent in the issues before this Court defies definition. That federal courts thus far have joined in the hopeful chorus that the tide is turning seems ardent and is an arguably popular, indeed, poignant, outcome (whether or not credibly constitutionally driven). Perhaps, in the wake of today’s blurry notion of evolving understanding, the result is ordained. Perhaps in a new established point of view, marriage will be reduced to contract law, and, by contract, anyone will be able to claim marriage. Perhaps that is the next frontier, the next phase of some “evolving understanding of equality,” where what is marriage will be explored. And as plaintiffs vigorously remind, there have been embattled times when the federal judiciary properly inserted itself to correct a wrong in our society. But that is an incomplete answer to today’s social issue. When a federal court is obliged to confront a constitutional struggle over what is marriage, a singularly pivotal issue, the consequence of outcomes, intended or otherwise, seems an equally compelling part of the equation. It seems unjust to ignore. And so, inconvenient questions persist. For example, must the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female? All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs’ counsel was unable to answer such kinds of questions; the only hesitant response given was that such unions would result in “significant societal harms” that the states could indeed regulate. But not same-gender unions.


Counsel for a group of plaintiffs that include same-sex couples and an LGB( ) rights organization were willing to throw trans people under the “significant societal harms” bus in desperate hopes of getting gay marriage.

I would say that counsel for a group of plaintiffs that include same-sex couples and an LGB( ) rights organization were willing to throw the 1968 transsexual birth certificate statute under the “significant societal harms” bus, but that would entail me assuming that anyone on that side of the table was even aware of the law – an assumption I am not willing to make.

So, for those of you who are stumbling around right now in a Marriage Derangement Syndrome stupor, hopelessly convinced that nothing could go wrong for trans people – and trans people alone – when the U.S. Supreme Court dishes out its decision on gay marriage this summer…

I hope you enjoyed your kool-aid.

Hopefully you didn’t have to pay for the privilege of drinking it.


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