[eDebate] Anyone want to help fight for gay marriage?
Mon Apr 6 21:52:13 CDT 2009
a former UWG debater, Kris Bonilla, has decided to legally contest
Louisiana's prohibitions on gay marriage. below is a cut & paste of the
complaint recently filed. Kris has contacted me asking for help with making
if you ever ran a gay rights AFF or have done research on the legal
arguments against discrimination against same-sex relationships, your help
is requested. you can send me any research you have. Kris specifically asked
me for Int'l Law work, but welcomes any research.
this may be a chance for you to turn your debate arguments into evidence
that can win Louisianans civil rights.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
Kristoffer J. Bonilla and John Thomas Wray,
Brenda Hurst, Director of the Orleans Parish
Office of Marriage Licensing; Darlene W.
Smith, State Registrar of Vital Records and
Statistics; Dr. Rony Francola, Assistant
Secretary for the Office of Public Health;
Alan Levine, Secretary of the Department of
Health and Hospitals; and James D.
Caldwell, Attorney General,
Civil Action No. _____________
Section ?____?, Mag. ?_______?
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
NOW COME PLAINTIFFS, Kristoffer J. Bonilla and John Thomas Wray, both
of the full age of majority, United States citizens, domiciled and residing
in the State of
Louisiana, who, with respect, represent:
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ?1331, this Court has jurisdiction over the action
because it arises
under the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
international treaties, including, but not limited to, the Charter of the
United Nations, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on
Civil and Political
On April 2, 2009, Petitioners applied for a marriage license at the Orleans
Marriage License Office and were denied. The clerk refused to issue a
marriage license because
both applicants were male and that Louisiana law (Article XII ?15 of the
and Louisiana Civil Code Articles 89 and 3520) denies an individual the
right to marry if he or
she chooses a partner of the same sex.
Respondents? refusal to grant the Petitioners a marriage license violates
due process clause of the Fifth Amendment (as applied to Louisiana by the
Amendment) by infringing on a fundamental liberty interest, the right to
marry, without any
compelling government interest.
Moreover, the supporting Louisiana provisions run afoul of the Establishment
the First Amendment by curtailing the right to marry based upon a religious
interpretation of the
nature and purpose of marriage itself. By failing to articulate a
legitimate, compelling and
secular interest for the restriction on marriage, the State has necessarily
established a wholly
religious civil institution. Accordingly, Respondents? appeal to the
?sanctity? or religious
tradition of marriage does not justify the State?s restriction; it unmasks
Additionally, the Louisiana laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the
Amendment. Respondents issue marriage licenses in a discriminatory fashion.
First, the law
discriminates on the basis of sex by restricting men from marrying men and
marrying women; the right to choose a partner, essential to a meaningful
encumbered because of the applicant?s sex. Second, it discriminates on the
basis of sexual
orientation by affecting the class of persons not exclusively attracted to
members of the opposite
sex. Accordingly, the only individuals who enjoy the right to marry are
attracted to members of the opposite sex. Neither rational basis nor
substantial or compelling
interest supports that limitation. Therefore, regardless of how the class
affected is articulated,
Louisiana law fails requisite Constitutional scrutiny.
Finally, international law, as expressed in the Preamble and Article I ?3 to
Charter, Articles 2, 3, 6, 7, 12, 16 and 22 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and
Articles 17, 23, 25 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, proscribes
the actions and laws prompting the instant action. As treaties ratified by
the United States
Senate, these provisions supersede Louisiana?s marriage restriction.
Respondent Brenda Hurst is the Director of the Orleans Parish Office of
Licensing and, as such, is the public official charged with reviewing
applications for marriage
licenses, insuring compliance with State regulation and issuing licenses to
She is sued herein solely in her official capacity.
Respondent Darlene W. Smith is the Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics
of the State
of Louisiana. As Registrar Ms. Smith instructs and supervises local
registrars by prescribing and
furnishing vital statistic forms, including marriage license forms for use
by licensing officials. In
addition, she arranges and preserves all registered vital statistics
licenses, including marriages, in
a comprehensive State index. She is sued herein solely in her official
Respondent Rony Francola, M.D. is the Assistant Secretary of the Office of
for the State of Louisiana. Upon information and belief, Dr. Francola
reports to Respondent
Levine and is the official responsible for prescribing and furnishing the
forms for the application
for the license to marry, the certificate of registry of marriage and the
marriage certificate. He is
sued herein only in his official capacity.
Respondent Alan Levine is the Louisiana Secretary for the Department of
Hospitals, responsible for enforcing Louisiana laws regulating the licensing
of marriage through
oversight and control of both the Office of Public Health and State
Registrar of Vital Records
and Statistics. He is sued herein solely in his official capacity.
Respondent James D. Caldwell is the Attorney General for the State of
Louisiana. As the
enforcement officer for the laws of the State, he bears ultimate
responsibility and burden to
justify Louisiana?s legal restrictions on the right to marry. He is sued
herein solely in his official
WHEREFORE, Petitioners request the following relief:
That this Court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ?2201 and Rule 57 of the Federal
Rules of Civil
Procedure, order a speedy hearing and issue a declaratory judgment holding
Art. XII, ?15 of the
Louisiana Constitution, Articles 89 and Article 3520 of the Louisiana Civil
Code invalid because
they are either unconstitutional, illegal under international law, or both.
That this Court, pursuant to Rule 65(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil
injunctive relief requiring Respondents to issue the Petitioners a marriage
license and restraining
Respondents from implementing, enforcing or applying the relevant Louisiana
That this Court, pursuant to Rule 81(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
relief previously available through the writ of mandamus to insure that
parish clerks and other
local officials throughout the State, in performing their duty to issue
marriage licenses in their
jurisdictions, do so without regard for either the sex or sexual orientation
of either applicant.
That Petitioners be awarded costs; and
For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and equitable.
Kristoffer J. Bonilla, pro se
16 Yosemite Drive
New Orleans, Louisiana 70131
krisbonilla at gmail.com
John Thomas Wray, pro se
1805 Esplanade Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Johnnyreco911 at hotmail.com
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