Domestic violence bill OK’d

Victims of domestic violence could not be discriminated against in housing under a measure that is on the way to the full state Senate.

The Senate’s Committee on Judiciary A approved the legislation, one of a package of bills aimed at the growing domestic violence problem in the state.

State Sen. Sharon Broome, D-Baton Rouge, told senators that Louisiana ranks second in the nation in homicides related to domestic violence.

Under Broome’s bill, it would be unlawful to refuse to rent or sell any dwelling based solely on the individual is a victim of domestic abuse. The domestic abuse provision would be added to current law which deals with discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin.

Broome said 21 states have adopted legislation on the housing issue similar to Senate Bill 233.

Victims need “safe affordable housing,” she said.

“Are we making them a protected class?” asked state Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie.

“It makes sure someone does not get evicted just because they are a victim,” Broome said.