The Louisiana House of Representatives turned down a bill that would have removed the southern US state’s anti-sodomy law.
Last week a committee passed the legislation in a 9-6 vote, but on 15 April the proposal was easily defeated in the full House 27-67; 11 representatives did not vote.
In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in the criminal case Lawrence v. Texas that all anti-sodomy laws in the US are unconstitutional.
According to the Times-Picayune, Louisiana’s law cannot be enforced or used in an arrest.
However, the in-state conservative group Louisiana Family Forum sent a letter to each legislator arguing that removing the useless regulation would mean less protection for teenagers from sexual predators.
‘Louisiana’s anti-sodomy statute is consistent with the values of Louisiana residents who consider this behavior to be dangerous, unhealthy and immoral,’ the LFF letter stated, as reported by the Times-Picayune.
Representative Patricia Haynes Smith, who pushed the bill through committee, noted last week she wanted to make life easier for police officers by removing statutes that cannot be enforced.
‘We want to be fair to the law enforcement individuals. … We don’t need inefficient bills on our statutes that they cannot take to a prosecutor,’ Smith said during the committee debate, according to Times-Picayune.
The gay rights group Equality Louisiana expressed, on its Facebook page, disappointment.
‘When will our legislators care more about upholding the rule of law than they will about staying in the Louisiana Family Forum’s good graces,’ the organization wrote.