US: Louisiana House votes to keep unconstitutional sodomy law

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The Louisiana House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to keep a sodomy law in the state’s penal code.

A bill, sponsored by Representative Patricia Haynes Smith, would have amended outdated “crimes against nature” laws from the 1970s, to remove an unconstitutional ban on homosexuality.

Despite the bill passing the House committee stage with a 9-6 vote last week, it today fell by a huge majority in the House, by a vote of 27-66.

It was partly blocked by the powerful Louisiana Family Forum, who wrote in a letter to every Representative that said: “Louisiana’s anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behaviour to be dangerous, unhealthy and immoral.”

Last year, it was alleged that police had taken advantage of the outdated law, declared unconstitutional in 2003, to specifically target gay men by entrapment.

Gay men have been arrested in the state for “attempted crimes against nature”, for discussion of consensual sex in a private place with an undercover police officer.

Smith told the Times-Picayune: “I thought it would do better.

“Some of the folks who voted to get it out of committee voted against it on the floor.”