House votes to remove unconstitutional sodomy statute

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A measure to remove an unconstitutional statute from Louisiana's law books moved past a House committee Wednesday after a spirited debate.

By a 9-6 vote, statutes that outlaw certain homosexual activity were struck down. The US Supreme Court decided a decade ago that a similar Texas law was unconstitutional.

Louisiana has failed to remove its similar law from the books, but not all were in favor of it.

State Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge, wants the law off the books. She argued the issue is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

In Baton Rouge, some men were arrested in a park on sodomy charges that were later dropped.

"It really is a law enforcement bill that is inefficient and needs to come off the books so that no one in our cities and parishes gets sued for arresting people for something that is unconstitutional," Smith said.

The measure now moves to the full House, but Capitol observers believe it will have a hard time getting off the House floor.

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