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La. Supreme Court dismisses same-sex marriage appeal as moot

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NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana's Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed as moot an appeal of a state judge's ruling declaring the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional — but it wasn't a unanimous decision.

The dismissal came on a 6-1 vote, with Justice Jefferson Hughes dissenting — despite the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding same-sex couples' rights to marry nationwide.

"Judges instruct jurors every week not to surrender their honest convictions merely to reach agreement," Hughes wrote. "I cannot do so now, and respectfully dissent."

The other justices agreed that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling was the final word on the matter.

"The dissenting opinion suggests we should not follow the holding of the Supreme Court of the United States. However, it cites no legal authority," wrote Justice Greg Guidry. "It cannot, because there is none to support its position."

Justice Jeanette Knoll wrote a concurring opinion, but it was highly critical of the U.S. high court's 5-4 decision.

"I write separately to express my views concerning the horrific impact these five lawyers have made on the democratic rights of the American people to define marriage and the rights stemming by operation of law therefrom," Knoll wrote.

Louisiana voters approved a 2004 amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage and the legal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. In September, state District Judge Edward Rubin of Lafayette ruled the ban unconstitutional, leading to the state Supreme Court appeal.

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