May 9, 2017 11:49 AM
Rep. Valarie Hodges

A bill that would amend Louisiana’s marriage law to allow foreign-born applicants to obtain a marriage license without producing a birth certificate has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

A House committee advanced the bill on Tuesday, several weeks after a federal judge blocked enforcement of the law’s birth certificate requirement.

A Lafayette man sued to challenge the law after it prevented him from marrying his fiancée last year. Viet Anh Vo has been a U.S. citizen since he was 8 years old but doesn’t have a birth certificate because he was born in an Indonesian refugee camp after his parents fled Vietnam.

Rep. Valarie Hodges, a Republican, sponsored both the law that took effect last year and the new bill that would allow judges to waive the birth certificate requirement.

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