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.
“Louisiana'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.
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