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Lawmakers deal another blow to LGBT rights in Louisiana

Monday, April 28, 2014
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BATON ROUGE, La. — Attempts to advance gay rights legislation took another blow in the Louisiana Legislature.

Louisiana state capitol in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana state capitol in Baton Rouge.

The House Commerce Committee on Monday voted 12-3 to kill a measure that would have prohibited housing discrimination against gays, among others.

Under the proposal by Baton Rouge Rep. Pat Smith, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status, source of income, domestic abuse victim status and conviction record would have been added to the list of characteristics a property owner could not use to deny housing.

Opposition came from the conservative Louisiana Family Forum who argued only “morally neutral” characteristics deserve protection.

Smith closed the hearing with a quote from the Pope about treating all people fairly, but that wasn’t enough to garner votes.

Last month, the committee rejected a similar bill from New Orleans Rep. Jared Brossett.

Earlier this motnh, Rep. Karen St. Germain pulled an LGBT-inclusive workplace protections bill for lack of support, and the state House voted overwhelmingly to keep in tact the state’s unconstitutional anti-sodomy law.

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