Louisiana

Louisiana legal documents designed to protect your family no matter your relationship status

Louisiana

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Rainbow Law does NOT make Trusts for Louisiana residents because this State’s law derives from French Civil law whereas the laws of all of the other States evolved from English Common Law. However, we do offer Will Packages and FREE Advance Directives to help protect your rights and the rights of your family. To order a legal document package that complies with Louisiana law, hover your mouse over the “Buy A Package” link in the top menu and click on the package that best suits your needs in the drop-down list. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, click this link and we’ll help you figure out what you need.

Although the US Supreme Court has held that the federal government cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian couples legally married and living in a state that recognizes that marriage, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples living in Louisiana are not legally recognized as spouses even if they were married in a marriage equality state or country.

Louisiana same-sex partners and family members may experience discrimination in many different ways. Some of them, like snubbing by your family of origin or by complete strangers in a social setting, can’t be dealt with legally; they require a set of adaptive behaviors, including education, humor, and a thick skin. But typical anti-discrimination laws do cover several areas.

Here is a run-down on Louisiana law affecting the LGBTQ community:

1 Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: On September 18, 2004, by a significant margin, the voters of Louisiana approved a state constitutional amendment, Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 1, that banned same-sex marriages and civil unions. The measure did not ban domestic partnerships, however.

Additionally, the Louisiana Civil Code prohibits same-sex couples from contracting to marry, and prohibits the recognition of purported same-sex marriages from other states. Both articles were amended to include the prohibitions in 1999 by the legislature.

A lawsuit brought in federal court, Robicheaux v. Caldwell, challenged the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. It was dismissed in November 2013 because it named only the state attorney general as a defendant and he had taken no specific action with respect to the plaintiffs’ marriages.

On July 26, 2013, Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon, who have been together for 31 years and were married in Ontario in 2004, and Deleon’s two adopted children filed suit in federal court challenging Louisiana’s refusal to recognize the validity of their marriage and its denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples generally. The children are a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy; Bourke is their legal guardian.

2 Adoption Law: Louisiana allows single persons to adopt, and does not explicitly deny adoption or second-parent adoption to same-sex couples.

Louisiana has successfully defended in federal court its refusal to amend the birth certificate of a child born in Louisiana and adopted in New York by a same-sex married couple, who sought to have a new certificate issued with their names as parents as is standard practice for Louisiana-born children adopted by opposite-sex married couples. On July 11, 2011, Lambda Legal, representing the plaintiffs in the case, Adar v. Smith, asked the Supreme Court to review the case.

3 Anti-Discrimination Law: Discrimination protections concerning employment within the state were allowed to expire in 2008. Louisiana is one of the few southern states which extended hate crimes protection to cover sexual orientation. It does not cover gender identity.

4 Sodomy Law: Sexual acts between persons of the same sex are legal in Louisiana.

5Public Opinion: An August 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that 28% of Louisiana voters thought that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 63% thought it should be illegal and 10% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 56% of respondents supported legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 23% supporting same-sex marriage, 33% supporting civil unions, 40% opposing all legal recognition and 4% not sure.

 
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