Religious bigots win symbolic victory: Capitulating to political pressure from anti-gay conservative Christian groups, the Louisiana House of Representatives voted to retain an unconstitutional and unenforceable law banning sodomy.
House Bill 12 sought to amend Louisiana’s crimes against nature law by removing a prohibition on consensual relations between people of the same sex. The bill would have simply removed unconstitutional language banning oral sex and all forms of same-sex sexual contact from state law.
The Louisiana law banning so-called “crimes against nature,” has been unenforceable for over ten years, ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a similar Texas law unconstitutional. A decade ago the court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that laws criminalizing consensual private sexual behavior are unconstitutional.
However, one of the state’s most powerful lobbying groups, the conservative Christian Louisiana Family Forum, opposed removing the ban on sodomy. The Louisiana Family Forum is a state affiliate of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, both of which have been identified as Christian hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The group sent out a letter to every legislator urging them to vote against the proposal. In that letter to lawmakers, the group argued that “Louisiana’s anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behavior to be dangerous, unhealthy, and immoral.”
For the record, there is nothing dangerous, unhealthy, or immoral about consensual sexual relations between adults. However, religious based oppression and discrimination is dangerous, unhealthy, and immoral.
Think Progress reports lawmakers who opposed the repeal violated their oath of office, in which they swore to support the Constitution of the United States. More than this, lawmakers who voted to retain the unenforceable and unconstitutional ban on sodomy are guilty of moral failure, and an ugly religious bigotry.