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USA, Louisiana: House Votes 66-27 to Keep Invalid Sodomy Law

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Louisiana mapA law that was invalidated by the US Supreme Court more than a decade ago will live on in Louisiana.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, sought to remove consensual sex between people of the same sex from Louisiana’s crimes against nature law. The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a similar Texas law a decade ago in Lawrence v. Texas. Smith brought the bill after Baton Rouge-area police arrested gay men using the law but couldn’t charge them because the district attorney said the law was unenforceable. She said the bill would help police officers do their jobs more efficiently by getting rid of an unusable law. “The bill only removes unconstitutional language,” she said. But Smith couldn’t win the backing of the House, which voted 66-27 against her repeal proposal. The bill was opposed by religious and conservative organizations.

You really get the feeling that these anti-gay folks on the right will do everything they can to hold on to their bigotry until the day they die, no matter how ineffective it is.

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USA, Louisiana: Marriage Equality Support Up 3% Since 2013

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

titleSupport for marriage equality is inching up in one of the most conservative states in the nation. But even better, opposition is plummeting.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The 2014 Louisiana Survey, conducted by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab, found that 42 percent of respondents supported legalizing same-sex marriage, compared to 39 percent a year earlier. While support increased increased on slightly, opposition dropped from 56 percent in 2013 to 47 percent in 2014. And for the first time, more respondents said they believed gay couples should be able to enter into civil unions than didn’t — 47 percent were opposed.

One thing that strikes me here – according to today’s polls, there’s more support for marriage equality in Louisiana than in North Carolina. That seem fishy to anyone else?

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USA, Louisiana: Marriage Equality Lawsuit Planned

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Louisiana mapLiterally every day, it seems like there’s another marriage equality lawsuit popping up – this time it’s in Louisiana.

Edge Boston reports:

A gay rights group plans a legal challenge to the Louisiana Constitution’s prohibition against recognizing same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. The Forum for Equality Louisiana and four gay married couples have called a Wednesday news conference on the issue. A draft of the group’s planned lawsuit, obtained by The Associated Press, attacks the marriage recognition ban on several fronts.

It’s like this big snowball that’s now finally rolling downhill, picking up new states as it goes…

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USA, Louisiana: Effort to Repeal Shreveport LGBT Rights Ordinance Halted

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Louisiana mapAn attempt to repeal a new LGBT rights ordinance in Shreveport, Louisiana has been put on hold.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Shreveport council member Ron Webb had cast the only dissenting vote when the ordinance was approved last month. Webb has since been pushing a repeal measure. However he withdrew the proposal at Tuesday’s council meeting after an hour of public comment. He said the issue would be discussed at a later date. Advocates for the new law showed up in force to oppose repeal. Transgender and gay community members who supported the new law at Tuesday’s meeting included a man who identified himself as one of Webb’s former teachers.

It’s a small but significant victory, especially given that it happened in Louisiana, not exactly a bastion of LGBT rights.

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USA, Louisiana: Shreveport City Council Passes Anti Discrimination Ordinance

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Louisiana mapThe city Council in Shreveport, Louisiana just passed an ordinance to ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces against its LGBT citizens.

The New Civil Rights Movement reports:

The Shreveport City Council minutes ago passed an ordinance banning employment, housing, and public space discrimination against LGBT people. The Louisiana city is the state’s third-largest, with about 200,000 residents. The vote tonight was 6-1. While the state has no protections for LGBT people, Shreveport becomes the second city in the state, after New Orleans, to offer a fully-inclusive ordinance. Debate and public testimony lasted about two hours.

Even in Louisiana things are changing. Can we get a marriage equality bill now? LOL…

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USA, Louisiana: Court Dismisses Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Louisiana mapA federal court in Louisiana just rejected a lawsuit that sought to bring marriage equality to the state.

The Washington Blade reports:

A federal court in Louisiana has dismissed a lawsuit seeking marriage equality on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, although attorneys say they’ll amend the complaint to continue the litigation. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, a Reagan appointee, dismissed the lawsuit, known as Robicheaux v. Caldwell, on Wednesday because plaintiffs named only Attorney General James Caldwell as a defendant and he hasn’t denied them the recognition of their marriage. “The Attorney General’s sweeping responsibility to enforce the laws of the State of Louisiana lacks the Ex parte Young specificity nexus between the Attorney General and the alleged unconstitutional provisions that is essential to defeat sovereign immunity,” Feldman writes.

The lawsuit will be amended to name Secretary Tim Barfield of the State Department of Revenue as the defendant.

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USA, Louisiana: Tulane University Panel to Discuss Supreme Court Marriage Equality Rulings

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Tulane UniversityIf you are in New Orleans, you might want to check out a panel tomorrow at Tulane University on marriage equality.

SFGate reports:

A panel discussion set Tuesday at Tulane University Law School will deal with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings on same-sex marriage. The discussion is part of the law school’s observance of Constitution Day, the federally observed anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Participants in the discussion will include Tulane Law School professors.

The panel will be held at 11:30 AM at Weinmann Hall, Appellate Moot Court Room 110, and is free and open to the public. More information here.

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USA, Louisiana: State is Third to Deny Benefits to National Guard’s Gay/Lesbian Soldiers

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Louisiana National Guard LogoAfter Texas and Mississippi, the next state over has also declined to process benefits claims for same sex partners of its National Guard soldiers.

Towleroad.com reports:

Earlier this week, Towleroad reported that both Texas and Mississippi were refusing to comply with orders from the Pentagon to begin offering partner benefits to troops with same-sex spouses, based on state laws banning same-sex marriage. Now Louisiana has joined them: The Louisiana National Guard won’t process benefits for same-sex couples because the state Constitution does not recognize gay marriage, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday. The directive directly contradicts a Pentagon policy issued Tuesday requiring the military to honor such benefits requests.

Block, block, block. Then sabotage, sabotage, sabotage. That’s all they know how to do.

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USA, Louisiana: House Speaker Wants to Keep Sodomy Law on the Books

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Louisiana House Speaker Chuck KleckleyEven though it was invalidated 10 years ago by the US Supreme Court, Louisiana (like a number of other states) still has its sodomy law on the books, and the House Speaker is content to keep it that way. Towleroad.com reports:

Louisiana’s unconstitutional law has already been used to target and arrest gay men as recently as last month, despite being rendered effectively unenforceable by the U.S. Supreme Court. Sid Gautreaux, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff who conducted the unlawful arrests, called for the unconstitutional law to be removed in his subsequent apology statement. Furthermore, the District Attorney made it clear that he would not prosecute any individuals subject to a sodomy arrest. Nevertheless, House Speaker Chuck Kleckley recently told the Associated Press that he will not seek to repeal law. Kieckley then refused to expand on his position any further, and did not provide any sort of explaination regarding his stance.

It used to be that when the US Supreme Court spoke on something, it was over. Now right-wing groups don’t seem content to let sleeping dogs lie. how many years are we past the Roe v Wade decision now? Maybe they’re hoping anti sodomy laws will come back into fashion…

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Louisiana, USA: Local Poll Shows Surprising Support for Marriage Equality

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

titleA local poll in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, shows that a plurality of voters there support marriage equality, a surprising result in such a conservative state. The Advocate (local paper) reports:

According to the survey, 47 percent of the respondents were for legalizing same-sex marriage while 45 percent were opposed. Six percent said they didn’t know. In last year’s survey, 44 percent of respondents were in favor while 49 percent were against same-sex marriage. The same-sex marriage question was among the highlights of the annual CityStats report, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s quality of life survey, which was released Monday.

I don’t know what East Baton Rouge’s political make-up is like compared to the rest of the state, but to say that such numbers in one of the most conservative states in the country are encouraging is an understatement.

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