Lawmakers on board to get rid of anti-sodomy law from LA law books

Lawmakers on board to get rid of anti-sodomy law from LA law books
Photo provided by staff.
Louisiana Politics
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 5:31pm

Wednesday in session there was a big win for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community. A bill that has created a lot of buzz in our community over the past year passed out of a house committee.

It all started after an undercover sting by the East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office where they arrested multiple men for attempted crimes against nature.

Problem is, decades ago the U.S. Supreme Court deemed those anti sodomy law unconstitutional but it's still on our law books.

"We don't need inefficient bills on our statues that they cannot talk to a prosecutor and prosecute it they cannot do that," said Rep. Patricia Smith, (D) Baton Rouge.

And law enforcement agencies agree. Rep Smith says they think it needs to be changed as well so they can do their jobs better and avoid possible complications.

"Because someone is going to sue your city and even sue your parish if you arrest someone under this bill because it is totally unconstitutional," noted Rep. Smith.

But that hasn't stopped numerous people from speaking out against this bill.

"I would ask you to give your support for committed married relationships because committed married relationships are what produces the future of our country," said Fran White, a woman in opposition.

“Ladies and gentleman, I would respectfully say to you that what you do here is going to have societal consequences," said Judge Darrell White with the American Judicial Alliance.

Others in opposition say the bill would contribute to the aids epidemic in our state. But even with all the conflict, the LGBT community says this is a big win.

"This is the right outcome for the law for the constitution and for justice," said Matt Patterson from the Capital City Alliance

With a 9 to 6 vote its clear some lawmakers are still questioning the legislation but supporters say, all that matters now is that it passed.

"They did their jobs properly so I am always nervous when wild stories get told but I really do believe that people can do the right thing and do the jobs that they are here for," said Patterson.

It heads to the full House floor for consideration.

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