Feds to withhold $50M from Louisiana after state court orders marriage equality

Posted October 05, 2019 11:17:52 Louisiana’s attorney general said Friday that his office will not pay nearly $50 million to the state of Louisiana after a federal court ordered that same-sex couples in the state obtain a marriage license.

Attorney General Chris Koster said the payments are being withheld for a number of reasons, including a lack of jurisdiction, a failure to provide timely responses, and failure to comply with state court rulings.

Koster said in a statement Friday that the attorney general will seek a refund of the money and other remedies if necessary.

The payments are made to the attorneys general of the 12 states and the District of Columbia that are among the 10 states that have legalized same-sport unions.

“These funds will help Louisiana families and businesses through the economic hardships that we have seen, including the loss of hundreds of jobs and businesses,” Koster added.

The payments, which are made by the Louisiana Marriage Equality Legal Fund, will go to attorneys general who filed legal briefs in support of same-gender marriage.

In addition, $30 million will go toward Louisiana’s general fund and $15 million will be distributed to the public schools.

The attorney general’s office said it has no intention of paying any additional money.

The attorney general is not the only one who is paying.

Attorney General Joe Demarest announced Friday that he will also pay the remaining $25 million to attorneys for same- sex couples, as well as to the organizations that helped fight for the state’s gay marriage ban.

Demarest said he would also “make other appropriate expenditures to further our efforts to provide equal access to marriage.”

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