A federal judge in New Orleans, Reagan appointee Martin Feldman, has upheld Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, the first in a line of more than 20 federal decisions that did not find such bans unconstitutional. The decision will be appealed.

He said the tradition of such discriminatory laws was not “universally irrational on the constitutional grid.” He also posed some what-ifs about other forms of marriage, such as between close relatives, which were not at issue in the case.

Feldman also said “fundamental social change” was better achieved through “democratic consensus.”  The Human Rights Campaign chided Feldman for ignoring constitutional considerations and abundant evidence debunking the state’s argument that well-being of children was somehow linked to opposite-sex marriage.

A decision striking down such a ban in Arkansas is on appeal to the state Supreme Court. A federal judge in Little Rock has a motion for summary judgment under consideration in a similar lawsuit.

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