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Title: All in the Family: Assessing the Definition of "Family" in City of Baton Rouge / Parish of East Baton Rouge v. Myers
Authors: Murphree, Patrick D.
Keywords: Family definition
City of East Baton Rouge
Parish of East Baton Rouge
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Citation: 61 Loy. L. Rev. 407
Abstract: Like many cities, Baton Rouge, Louisiana has a zoning ordinance that limits the occupancy of dwellings in single-family residential districts to a small number of persons unless those persons are related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Because a strong, if unconscious, bias in favor of a nuclear family in a suburban environment affects the logic of the various courts to address such ordinances, restrictive definitions of "family" persist in zoning ordinances. Most recently, in City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge v. Myers, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected challenges to Baton Rouge's definition of "family" on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This Note analyzes the court's opinion and concludes that the definition of "family" in the ordinance fails to reflect the complex ways in which individuals share affective co-residential relationships. Part II explores the factual and procedural background of the case, while Part III examines the legal backdrop of zoning, equal protection, and the FHA. Part IV analyzes the court's opinion. Finally, Part V criticizes the ordinance as a violation of equal protection and the FHA and examines how biases against nontraditional families influence zoning law and jurisprudence.
ISSN: 0192-9720
Appears in Collections:Law Review

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