Bobby Jindal administration will start issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples as courts back Supreme Court ruling
After all his posturing and pronouncements to try and appeal (the actual word is pander) to the Republican Party’s far right basest part of the party’s base, Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration will start issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples — as his legal options have run out.
New Orleans is finally allowed to join the rest of Louisiana and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Following a court ruling ordering it to do so, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration agreed Thursday (July 2) afternoon to allow the state Department of Vital Records in downtown New Orleans to issue the marriage licenses. Every other marriage license office in the state began doing so earlier this week.
“Today the Eastern District Court of Louisiana ordered the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who complete a marriage application at the Department’s Office of Vital Records in Orleans Parish,” said Olivia Hwang, spokeswoman for the agency on Thursday afternoon.
Orleans Parish is the only place where a state agency — not a court clerk — is in charge of authorizing marriage documents. So, unlike elsewhere in the state, Jindal had more control in Orleans over the issuing of marriage licenses. Same-sex couples who wanted to be married in Orleans were having to travel to the 2nd City Court in Algiers for a license this week.
The administration was forced to relent following Thursday’s U.S. District Court ruling that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban. The district court was responding to the decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court last week to recognize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Most states started recognizing same-sex couples immediately after the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, but Jindal waited until Louisiana’s state government was forced to acknowledge gay marriage through a separate, lower court ruling.
Jindal has essentially declined to comment on the reversal of Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban, instead referring media requests to state agency heads about how the state will handle the change.
“This order directs the agencies to comply and all questions about processing benefits should be directed to them,” said Mike Reed, a spokesman for Jindal’s office.
Some notes on this:
1. It’s clear Jindal, one of the most patently political posturing governors in the United States, got what he wanted anyway: he can now go to GOP primary voters and say he battled the same-sex marriage ruling to the end. The only thing he didn’t do was to stand in front of the marriage license line and try to physically block applicants.
2. The way lower courts are making sure to that the Supreme Court’s ruling is observed by states with conservative Republican governors who are trying to ignore or defy it is almost breathtaking.
3. Jindal and other GOP governors and candidates who seem so totally angry about the ruling and question the legitmacy of the Supreme Court — a court they didn’t seem to question on rulings such as Citizens United because it was in their interest — are doing continued damage to the GOP brand. Donald Trump can’t do that task alone (but give Trump more time).
4. Jindal remains one of the biggest disappointments to centrist and moderates — that segment of voters that both parties need and that Democratic liberals and Republican conservatives both diss (uh, oh, here come the Political Equivalency Police as someone dares to say that Democratic liberals and Republican conservatives can BOTH act intolerant as they often try and purge their party of people who don’t totally agree with their left or right agendas). Jindal has moved sharply right on most issues. The degree of how much Jindal has destroyed his own brand in the eyes of anyone who isn’t a Sean, Rush or Glen fan can be seen in the hilarious failure of his “Ask Bobby” hashtag that brought withering tweets that illustrated how his image is absolutely shot among a huge chunk of voters. READ THIS.
5. With Jindal and so many of the other GOPers seeking the Presidential nomination, the once upon a time Republican party that laid out a specific, affirmative vision aggressively is gone. Instead we see people scrambling to repeat bumper sticker slogans, phrases that’ll be used for sound bytes on TV or talk radio like slogans. We see some people who in the 1960s would have been related to those wee hours of the morning shows on UHF channels that featured political Twilight Zoner nutcases who rejected science, demonized groups showing their covert or overt bigotry, and seemed angry or paranoid all the time.
But look for Jindal and others in the GOP to ignore polls and advice from THOUGHTFUL Republicans on this issue. How can they resist seeing if a wedge issue that worked before will work again? And how can they resist doing what talk radio has done successfully: fanning the flames of resentment and creating a loyal demographic?
Still, Jindal clearly now knows one fact:
The courts won’t join in helping him stop the Supreme Court ruling and building his political demographic. But there are other ways he and others can help morph some smoldering resentment into outrage and get voters to vote for them because they feel The American Way of Life is at risk.
The quest to trigger the “fight or flight” mechanism in GOP primary voters will continue.