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State representative aims to eliminate anti-sodomy provision: ruled unconstitutional

State representative aims to eliminate anti-sodomy provision: ruled unconstitutional
Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Monday, February 3, 2014 - 6:45pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 3, 2014 - 6:49pm

It's a law still on the books in Louisiana and it’s also a law ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The anti-sodomy law has been used to arrest people, that can't even be prosecuted.

So now one state representative is trying to eliminate the statute and help our law enforcement become more efficient.

"I don’t believe we should have anything in our constitution that’s unconstitutional," said state Representative Pat Smith. "It has been deemed unconstitutional straight up through the Supreme Court and 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

It's been a decade since its unconstitutionality was upheld but still has been used here in Louisiana to make arrests.

"So it doesn't make any sense to have something unconstitutional that creates individuals getting arrested for something they can’t be prosecuted for."

So representative Pat Smith is taking action; filing a bill to do away with the statue that she says is allegedly placing innocent people in jail.

"That’s not good work and it’s not efficient work for our Louisiana enforcement officers out there arresting people for a law that they can’t even be prosecuted for."

And people with the Capital City Alliance are thrilled with the support to eliminate the statute.

"I think the law enforcement community as a whole is in agreement that this needs to go because it cant be enforced and leaving it on the books only leads to he possibility that somebody will use it in a way that's inappropriate which we have seen happen recently," said Matt Patterson from the Capital City Alliance.

Smith says there is a much bigger impact than just making our books up to date and our officers more efficient.

"This is important to the LGBT community,” noted Smith. “A lot of folks are not tolerant of that portion of our population and I think it’s important that they are recognized as human beings as well."

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