A bill which seeks to repeal
Louisiana's unconstitutional law banning gay sex cleared a House
panel on Wednesday.
The committee sent the bill to the full
House with a 9-6 vote, KSLA
In the landmark 2003 case Lawrence
v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court struck down as
unconstitutional Texas' sodomy law and by extension invalidated
sodomy laws in 13 states, including Louisiana's law. Such laws
criminalize consensual anal and oral sex between adults, but were
most often used to prosecute gay men.
Citing a Baton Rouge case in which
police attempted to enforce the law, Rep. Pat Smith, a Democrat,
argued that leaving the law on the books is inviting a lawsuit.
men arrested for agreeing to consensual sex under Louisiana's invalid
“It really is a law enforcement bill
that is inefficient and needs to come off the books so that no one in
our cities and parishes gets sued for arresting people for something
that is unconstitutional,” said Smith, the bill's sponsor in the
Chuck Lowman of the Baptist Association
of Baton Rouge suggested the ban was needed to protect children.
“It is virtually impossible for
parents to allow their children to spend time unsupervised in any of
our city parks because of the prevalence of this kind of conduct is
throughout our city parks,” he told lawmakers, referring to public
same-sex sexual activity.
In his testimony, Jerry Malilly, M.D.
said that without the law STDs would increase: “There are
approximately 50,000 cases of AIDS that occur every year. Any study
that is reputable will give you statistics from 65 to 78 percent of
those cases the precipitating cause is sodomy.”
The bill faces a steep incline in the
full House, which is controlled by Republicans.