Protestors rally against judge's ruling supporting same-sex marriage ban

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A rally in Jackson Square Sept. 3 supported same-sex couples fighting against Louisiana law banning same-sex marriages. Jackson Square artists wrote messages in chalk. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • A rally in Jackson Square Sept. 3 supported same-sex couples fighting against Louisiana law banning same-sex marriages. Jackson Square artists wrote messages in chalk.

More than 100 people gathered outside Jackson Square late this afternoon to protest today's federal court decision upholding Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban. Members of Forum For Equality, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the New Orleans LGBT Community Center and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — as well as the couples listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit that attempts to strike down the law — rallied against the decision and stood in support of the upcoming appeal process and the people and families affected by the law.

Mary Griggs, chair of Forum For Equality, said U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman's decision "flies in the face" of decisions in 20 other states allowing same-sex marriages. "We're disappointed, but we're moving forward," said Forum For Equality director Sarah Jane Brady. "We're going to appeal this decision, and we're confident a positive ruling will be made."


Susan Chapman and Thea Mars. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Susan Chapman and Thea Mars.

Plaintiffs echoed that their fight continues in the appeals process. "It's a small bump on a long road," said plaintiff Derek Penton-Robicheaux, who married his partner Jon in Iowa in 2012. "We started this over a year ago, and we're going to see it through." Their attorney Richard Perque said they will begin to file an appeal as early as the end of this week.

"We had a 50-50 shot," said plaintiff Jacqueline Brettner, who married her partner Lauren in New York in 2012. "Now is the time for equality. Today's decision is not going to stop it."

"It's a shame we're not here celebrating," Ariel David told the crowd, adding that despite serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan she is not able to get married at home.

Isobel Healy in Jackson Square. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Isobel Healy in Jackson Square.

The HRC's Lester Perryman also addressed the crowd on a megaphone, saying, "Today you were told you are a second-class citizen, that the love for your partners is second rate. ... Instead of standing on the right side of history, (Feldman) chose the crowd of bigotry and oppression."

"The fight's not over," he told Gambit. "We will prevail at the Supreme Court. This case proves even more that the Supreme Court needs to take it up."


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