April 13, 2018

Friend,

This has been a fast and labor intensive week for LFF at the Capitol. Bill authors are hustling to get their bills through the process before budget discussions overshadow everything. LFF remains engaged in educating Louisiana lawmakers and residents about the 37 gambling bills before the legislature. For a quick study on “Gaming Inc.'s” run on the Louisiana legislature, click here.  If you would like to communicate with lawmakers regarding these bills of importance, join the Louisiana Family Forum 60-Second Brigade!

The real story this week was Sen. J.P. Morrell's anti-bestiality bill, SB236, which has garnered a great deal of attention. LFF supports the 10 lawmakers who principally opposed SB236 which unnecessarily dismantles Louisiana’s crimes against nature law.

Clearly, opposition to SB236 should not be construed as lack of support for what Louisiana currently outlaws as aberrant behavior. During discussions on the bill, Sen. Morrell offered his opinion that bestiality is now legal in Louisiana because the U.S. Supreme Court case, Lawrence v. Texas, rendered a portion of our crime against nature statute unconstitutional. However, Lawrence dealt only with private acts between consenting adults. Constitutional law experts and court precedent assure that Louisiana’s current crimes against nature law is constitutional and enforceable.

"The Court upholds and affirms the constitutional portions of Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:89(A)(1). We conclude that the two types of behavior are sever-able because the prohibition against human/human portion can be removed (or accommodated) without affecting the validity or intent of the human/animal prohibition.” Louisiana Electorate of Gays and Lesbians Inc. v. Connick (La. Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit, No. 04-CA-1468, 2005)

Additionally, some language in SB236 is potentially unconstitutionally vague. If this language is invalidated by a court of law, Louisiana would then be left with no statute prohibiting the deviant behavior this bill aims to address. Louisiana's current statute is tried and tested as it relates to crimes against nature and should be preserved.

According to WAFB, a quick search on Facebook turns up thousands of comments, the reaction to the vote on the bill is unforgiving. "That’s malicious fun," said Louisiana Sen. Dan Claitor, D-Baton Rouge. "I don’t understand why they would do that. It’s unfair to say that anybody voted in favor of bestiality at any point in that discussion. It’s interesting news and it causes a conversation but it has never been legal in Louisiana and it’s just different approaches to the same question,” Claitor added.

It is unfortunate that the open and honest debate over issues, that is a hallmark of our democratic process, has devolved into malicious name calling and disparaging remarks directed at these ten honorable lawmakers. Those Senators who voted against the bill exercised caution. We stand by them personally and their votes.

Senator Morrell's concern that additional protections are needed can be properly amended under the current law and LFF will continue to work with the proponents of the bill to give those 10 Senators a bill they can vote for.

  • SB364 by Sen. Ward - Protects free speech on college campuses - PASSED THE SENATE
  • SB 402 by Sen. Riser - Allows volunteer security guard with a concealed carry permit to carry weapon in church - PASSED THE SENATE
  • SB 396 by Sen. G. Smith - Deregulation of gestational surrogacy contracts - PASSED SENATE JUDICIARY A
  • SB 463 by Sen. Peterson - sets minimum age for marriage at 18 and deletes “man and a woman” definition of marriage - PASSED SENATE JUDICIARY A
  • SB 51 by Sen. Morrell - eliminates the death penalty - PASSED SENATE JUDICIARY C COMMITTEE
  • SB 274 by Sen. T. Carter - prohibits the sale of certain firearms to adults under the age of 21 - FAILED THE SENATE
  • HB 484 by Rep. Talbot - would allow internet gambling on fantasy sports - PASSED HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
  • HB 237 by Rep. Leopold - increased penalties for producing child pornography - PASSED THE HOUSE
  • HB 449 by Rep. Edmonds - incorporates adoption information as part of the Woman’s Right to Know for women considering abortion - PASSED THE HOUSE
  • HB 625 by Rep. Edmonds - maternity leave for teachers who adopt - PASSED THE HOUSE
  • SB224 by Sen. Barrow - "In God We Trust” in public schools - PASSED THE SENATE
  • HB184 by Sen. Martiny - Reduces fuel sales for truck stop casinos - PASSED HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE

In His Service,
Gene
Gene Mills
President
Louisiana Family Forum

655 Saint Ferdinand St. | Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802-6152
(225)344-8533 or (800)606-6470 | info@lafamilyforum.org

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