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Louisiana House of Representatives Votes 27-66 To Keep 200-Year-Old Anti-Sodomy Law

The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 27-66 today to reject legislation that would remove a 200-year-old anti-sodomy law from the state’s books.

Lawmakers have been unwilling to strike down the measure for over ten years, despite it being declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.

The outdated law came under national scrutiny last summer when deputies of the East Baton Rouge Parish used it to arrest men who agreed to have sex with undercover male police officers. The District Attorney ultimately declined to prosecute the men because he had no legal standing to do so. Sid Gautreaux, the sheriff who ordered the arrests, later offered a half-hearted apology.

State Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs

The initiative to keep the law on the books was spearheaded by the Louisiana Family Forum, one of the largest conservative lobbying firms in the state, which characterizes itself as a “voice for traditional families.”

“Louisiana’s anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behavior to be dangerous, unhealthy, and immoral,” the forum said in a letter.

“This has been on the Louisiana law books for nearly 200 years,” State Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs, said. “Just because we decriminalize something doesn’t make it right. … We’re not here to rubber stamp the Supreme Court. … We’re here to uphold the law of what’s right and wrong.”

Keeping an outdated, unconstitutional, unenforceable law on the books for symbolic purposes… How’s that for small government?

By:           Graham Gremore
On:           Apr 15, 2014
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • tardis

      Well, they better start initiating their witch hunt asafp. There’s a lot of straight couple going down on each other as we speak…or type.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AzLights

      Just goes to show the contempt of Louisiana for the Constitution.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      They wanna live in the 19th century.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yousir75

      Dumb & stubborn.

      Alabama didn’t repeal its anti-miscegenation law until 33 YEARS after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such laws were unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 9:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      Small (minded) government.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jesaves

      We should honestly eradicate the government system and instead run the country as a community because this system of hierarchy it clearly not working and it take years for it to get done if that ever happens.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 5:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      Here in Brazil, we are a federation but the states are not as independent as in the US. I think this is a positive thing. The supreme court has ruled in our favor many times.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 5:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ait10101

      So Louisiana principles are not in line with the US Constitution, if we are to believe the Louisiana Family Forum. Maybe Louisiana should secede from the US. Oh yeah, they tried that once already.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 6:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tazz602

      FYI – not defined in the article (come on Queerty writers, get on the stick!!) – Louisiana’s sodomy law includes oral and anal sex between adults, gay or straight. Rep. Valerie Hodges just doesn’t want to give her husband a blow job, she can use the law as an excuse.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaxxon

      And the south shall FALL again.

      How much money will Louisiana waste trying to enforce unconstitutional laws and how much will they be forced to pay out in damages for willfully violating the civil rights of American citizens every time they try to prosecute under this law?

      State Judges and law enforcement that ignore Supreme Court rulings and continue to persecute citizens under these laws can be brought up on federal charges.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 10:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike

      The south will forever be on the wrong side of history. Then again, when your populace reflects that much inbreeding, what else would one expect?

      Apr 16, 2014 at 11:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieru

      Anti-sodomy laws exist throughout this country still, as do a slew of equally unenforceable laws. For example, in Ohio it is illegal to sell baby chickens or ducklings that have had their feathers dyed. Women cannot wear patent leather shoes and technically… you cannot make a civil arrest on a Sunday, on the 4th of July, or against ANYONE in the halls of justice or of the state congress while a session is being held.

      Many of these laws are 50+ years old. Removing them can have unintended consequences as other laws reference them. And of course removing a law takes votes which take TIME which by necessity takes time away from OTHER things.

      But that being said… let them keep it if they want to hold on to their golden days of hate and bigotry. The law is entirely unenforceable and if any law enforcement seeks to use it as an avenue for arresting someone they open themselves up to quite a fun little lawsuit process.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader

      This is a prime example of how politicians really have no power in the end. Those 66 people cannot compel anyone to maintain the rule of law. They are just sitting in a room praying to the heavens that everyone goes along with them. How about everyone experiencing human rights violations simply stops upholding any laws whatsoever?

      Apr 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan down in Florida
      Alan down in Florida

      This is a prime example of how politicians will deal with any unimportant thing rather than actively address the problems of their constituents.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • coltonblack

      So they are going to be monitoring private sexual activity. Sounds very non- conservative to me in the Barry Goldwater sense

      Apr 17, 2014 at 2:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drivendervish

      I sure hope that Louisianians are aware that any type of sex that isn’t a man and woman in the missionary position is defined as sodomy. Anybody going down in Louisiana is going down! unless of course they intend to enforce the law selectively as in “only gay sodomy” but surely the law enforcement community is too enlightened for that?? LOL.

      Apr 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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