The Republican-controlled Louisiana House on Tuesday rejected a bill which sought to repeal the state's unconstitutional law banning gay sex.

According to The Times-Picayune, the bill was defeated with a 27-67 vote, with 11 House members not voting.

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.

The Christian Louisiana Family Forum launched a campaign to keep the law, arguing that it protects the public health and teenagers from sexual predators.

β€œLouisiana's anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behavior to be dangerous, unhealthy and immoral,” the group wrote in a letter sent to every legislator.

Citing a Baton Rouge case in which police attempted to enforce the law, Rep. Patricia Smith, a Democrat, argued that leaving the law on the books is inviting a lawsuit.

(Related: Gay men arrested for agreeing to consensual sex under Louisiana's invalid sodomy law.)

β€œIt 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 House.