BATON ROUGE, La. — A bill making its way in the Louisiana state legislature that would establish provisions to block gay and unmarried couples from becoming parents using a surrogate, is headed to a joint House-Senate conference committee this week.
Senate Bill 162, introduced in the Louisiana state Senate last month and sponsored by Sen. Senator Gary Smith Jr., a Democrat, specifies that the “intended parents” of a child must be married under laws recognized by the state.
Louisiana’s Constitution specifies that marriage “shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”
Smith told LGBTQ Nation on Wednesday that the state law currently lacks clear guidelines on the governing of such births, asserting that current gaps in guidelines could lead to legal problems for surrogate mothers, their spouses, and the intended parents of a child.
The bill was passed in the House last week in a majority vote, however it will come under further scrutiny by six lawmakers in the conference committee with final language to be reworked before returning to both chambers for final debates.
Smith said that he is opposed to one amendment added in the House by GOP Representative Frank Hoffman which would void the bill should the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), be declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision expected next month.
He added that even after the conference committee “rewords” the bill, he intends to ”still keep (marriage) defined as what Louisiana believes,” he said.