Views From Shreveport: Gay Marriage Ruling


The State of Louisiana is not issuing licences to Same sex couples 

By Zach Beaird/Shreveport Times

Caddo Parish will “wait on the state” before issuing any same-sex marriage licenses, said Mike Spence, Caddo Clerk of Courts chief deputy.

Staff said no same-sex couples had been to the office since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold same-sex marriage was announced Friday morning.

Bossier Parish Clerk of Court, Cynthia Johnson said they’re also waiting on official word Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.

Caldwell was not as soft-spoken, though. He is advising that the state wait out the 25 day time delay to allow the ruling to be reviewed by legal council before issuing any marriage licenses.

“This Supreme Court decision overturns the will of the people of Louisiana, and it takes away a right that should have been left to the states. Louisiana voters decided overwhelmingly to place in our constitution an amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. I fought to uphold Louisiana’s definition of traditional marriage, and I was the first attorney general in the nation to be successful at the federal court level.

I am extremely disappointed by this decision. It fails to respect traditional marriage as defined by Louisiana voters, and is yet another example of the federal government intrusion into what should be a state issue.”

The AG’s office added that it has found nothing in today’s decision that makes the Court’s order effective immediately. Therefore, there is no legal requirement yet for officials to issue marriage licenses or perform marriages for same-sex couples in Louisiana.

Until that time comes, though, same-sex couples in other parts of the state who wish to marry similarly will have to wait.

“On the advice of our (legal) counsel, we are going to let the time delay run (on the decision), which is normally 25 days from the ruling,” Rapides Parish Clerk of Court Robin Hooter said Friday. “Counsel is reviewing it right now. But, of course, we’re going to do what the law tells us to do.”

But, in the end, Grayson Boucher, Justice of the Peace for Southeast Caddo Parish, said it isn’t officials’ opinions that should be focused on, but the laws.

“We take an oath of office,” Boucher said. “That oath is to uphold the laws of the United States and of the state of Louisiana. The legislators make the laws, and we administer them, so we have to follow whatever laws are in place regardless of how we feel about them.”


Here’s what some in the faith community had to say about the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States.

By; Sherry P Sheppard/Shreveport Times

“Obviously, from my point of view, I’m disappointed. We as a church, and myself, really believe that marriage has a natural fundamental reality that’s based in the complimentary nature of man and woman and marriage is unique to that relationship. So, we’re disappointed that that ruling has come down that directly affects the definition of marriage.”

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— Bishop Michael Duca, Catholic Diocese of Shreveport

“As a Christian and as a pastor I’m very disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision. I feel like they went way beyond what the Constitution would call for. I think they are trumping state’s rights and I’m very concerned about the clash that’s going to happen with religious liberty across our land. We’re going to continue to love all people and we’re going to continue to promote biblical marriage and we’re going to continue to pray for our nation, that we will value what God has established.”

— Rev. Brad Jurkovich, First Baptist Bossier

“We couldn’t be more pleased. We’ve been working for this for a long time and as soon as the state of Louisiana has the paperwork for us to actually perform the ceremonies legally … we will be performing weddings. The chief justice said this matter belonged with the people but the reason we have a republic instead of a democracy is so that the rights of the minority can be protected. And since this is a right and not a matter of opinion, it absolutely belongs with the courts.”

— Rev. Barbara Jarrell, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church

“I was watching the news when it was announced and there were those who were celebrating and of course those that were disappointed. We must continue to pray and we must continue to love. My reaction is simply this. I love all of God’s creations. Sin is sin and it doesn’t matter who it’s in. However, we do not have the right to redefine what God has defined. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Now, I’m going to stand on that for the rest of my days. However, we don’t discriminate against anyone as it relates to what their sexual appetites may be. However, I draw the line that I will not perform a marriage for someone of the same sex, just like I would not perform a marriage for a man that wants to marry three women or a woman who wants to marry five men or a 40-year-old man who wants to marry a 14-year-old girl. I must stick with and stand on God’s word. None of us are perfect and I stress that. However, that does not give us the right to redefine what God has defined.”

— Bishop L. Lawrence Brandon, Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral

“I’m saddened by the decision though I’m not surprised. As a culture, there’s been a great rush to redefine a basic institution that has meant one thing for thousands of years and some are now saying it means something different. As a church, we will continue to practice and celebrate marriage as we understand it from Scripture — a lifetime covenant of man and woman. As always we will continue to show Jesus’ love in Shreveport. That’s our core purpose.”

— Rev. Jeff Raines, First Baptist Shreveport

“It’s good that we have one standard because some states were allowing for same-sex civil marriage and some weren’t. So it leads to a lot of confusion where if you move, you go from having a recognized marriage to not having a recognized marriage. It was creating a lot of tension in our society that this, at least, alleviates. It’s constitutional in the sense that it’s trying to base it on the 14th Amendment and I don’t think it’s an unjust decision. That’s my initial reaction. It’s going to affect our congregation because some people are excited and some people are upset. So it’s not an easy issue to deal with. Churches always have to adapt to whatever culture they’re in and churches will have to adapt to this ruling. Once the Supreme Court rules on it it’s a part of our society and I guess churches will have to decide how they want to adapt to it — either in complete opposition or trying to support people that are in same-sex relationships.”

— Rev. Chris Currie, First Presbyterian Shreveport

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