Failed resolution could affect future anti-discrimination measures

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Some think the Baton Rouge Metro Council shooting down a resolution Wednesday night could spell doom for future anti-discrimination measures.

Councilman John Delgado voiced his disappointment Thursday, one day after a resolution supporting a bill seeking to remove unconstitutional language in Louisiana's crime against nature law failed with very little support.

"If the council would have voted the voice of their constituents, we would have had a different outcome last night," said Delgado.

Delgado added his colleagues' votes didn't reflect the East Baton Rouge Parish majority.

"There is no doubt in my mind that in the hearts and souls of the people of Baton Rouge, the vast overwhelming majority of them do not believe in discrimination, think discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong, and would support a law to prevent that from happening," said Delgado.

Political analyst Clay Young thinks the reason opposing votes went across party lines and demographics was the unwillingness of some council members to make - what they believed to be - a political stand and the strong religious influence in the area.

"It's a function of the strength of the religious community and those who are bought in to the direction of this community based on faith issues," added Young.

Young also says the vote proves that any future anti-discrimination ordinances that may surface in city hall, before the council, will need to be all encompassing and not specific to certain groups like the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

"For the most part, breaking anything like this into categories will, more than likely, cause [you] problems, and it makes something that would otherwise be a no brainer a political issue," said Young.

Despite the outcome on the resolution that he co-authored, Delgado still thinks a measure that evens the playing field for people of any background is in store for Baton Rouge.

"What I'd like to see is an ordinance that says we Baton Rouge don't discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, handicap status. We don't discriminate against one person for they were born or circumstances they're in now," said Delgado.

Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle has said she plans to introduce an anti-discrimination ordinance in the upcoming weeks.

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