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Posted: Tuesday, 04 February 2014 9:48AM

Bill would change 'sodomy' law



The debate over what consenting adults are allowed to do in private comes before the Louisiana legislature again.

Right now in Louisiana, a couple that engages in certain sex acts is committing a felony -- even though both parties consent, or may even be married. Court rulings have rendered the law unenforceable, but it remains on the books.

Earlier this year, sheriff's deputies in Baton Rouge arrested about a dozen men for allegedly agreeing to consensual sex that would be classified as "crimes against nature." The district attorney's office refused the charges.

Representative Patricia Smith (D-Baton Rouge) filed a bill to get rid the part of law that the U.S. Supreme court has already ruled it unconstitutional.

"We should not have law enforcement arresting people on laws that are unconstitutional or can't be prosecuted," Smith said.

The bill is on the schedule for the legislative session that begins March 10.

Louisiana Family Forum leader Gene Mills says he's against any changes to the law, even if the law itself has been deemed unconstitutional. The way Mills sees it, the courts can always change their minds:

"Some argue that Louisiana's law should stay on the books, because the courts could reverse itself or amend its finding at a later date," Mills said.

Mills said the Baton Rouge situation was caused by poor law enforcement, and not the law itself.

"We're not correcting the actions that were taken," he said.  "The wrong actions needs to be where the remedy needs to be administered, and we're not doing that.  We're blaming the law."

Smith says if Mills is so confident the court could change its mind, then he's welcome to challenge her proposed changes if the legislature passes them.

"If Mr. Mills and his group wants to challenge the law, then they can do so," she said.

 

Filed Under :  
Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : Louisiana
People : Gene MillsPatricia Smith
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