Louisiana drew unwelcome national attention when some Baton Rouge men were arrested for violating the state’s anti-sodomy law, even though the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down such laws a decade before.
We urge the Legislature to follow the lead of the House Criminal Justice Committee and take the discriminatory laws off the books. In the Baton Rouge cases, the district attorney correctly refused to prosecute the arrests because of the high court’s ruling; the arrests, though, drew widespread condemnation.
Rep. Pat Smith, R-Baton Rouge, pushed the repeal bill, but she was faced with a barrage of false and, frankly, absurd statements from opponents that her bill would remove protections against sexual assault and lead to more cases of HIV/AIDS.
If those views win the day against what should be a routine bill, Louisiana would lose again in the court of public opinion in the nation.