Less than two weeks after the Louisiana House voted overwhelmingly to retain the state's unconstitutional and unenforceable sodomy law, legislators in the Bayou State bashed the LGBT community again, rejecting a measure on Monday that would have made it illegal to refuse sell or rent property to people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Shreveport Times reports:
Three Democrats joined nine Republicans on the House Commerce Committee in rejecting the measure Monday 12-3. None said specifically why they voted against the bill.
The bill by Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge, would have added sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran's status, source of income, domestic abuse victim status and conviction record to the list of characteristics a property owner could not use to deny someone housing. The committee had previously rejected a similar proposal by Rep. Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans, seeking to protect gays from housing discrimination.
Opposition to Smith's bill came from the conservative Louisiana Family Forum, which argued only "morally neutral" characteristics deserve protection. Kathleen Benfield, representing the organization, said characteristics like race and sex deserve protection. But she said sexual orientation doesn't deserve special status because some property owners are religiously opposed to homosexuality.
Translation: religious conservatives in Louisiana are demanding -- successfully, for the moment -- a special "right" to discriminate against LGBT people because Jesus. As I've said before, Louisiana apparently loves legalized homophobia too much to let it go.