State Watch

Louisiana GOP pushes back on anti-bestiality bill over fears it could undo sodomy ban

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Some Louisiana state Republicans are pushing back against a measure in the Baton Rouge Legislature to toughen bestiality laws over fears it could lead to the repeal of the state’s unconstitutional ban on sodomy.

The measure would separate bestiality laws from the sodomy ban in the state’s “crime against nature” statute, leading some conservatives to view the law as an attempt to undermine the anti-sodomy measure, The Associated Press reported.

Ten GOP lawmakers voted against the bill earlier this month. Still, it passed the Senate and is now being considered by the state House of Representatives.

“This bill was written because the far left wants to undermine our other laws that protect family and traditional values that the people of Louisiana hold dear,” said state Sen. Ryan Gatti (R), who opposed the bill.


“That was our concern, that it most likely will be used as a Trojan horse to delete the sodomy law,” he added.

The Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in 2003, ruling that the bans were in violation of the 14th Amendment. However, Louisiana has kept its law on the books.

Other lawmakers and advocates of the measure were shocked by the opposition to the bill, which expands the state’s current four-word bestiality law with requirements for mental evaluations, as well as punishments for trafficking.

Leighann Lassiter, director of animal cruelty policy at the Humane Society of the United States, told the AP that the opposition is “quite surprising.”

“This has been the first time we’ve seen one hint of opposition to these bills,” she said.

State Sen. J.P. Morrell (D), who introduced the bill, said the Republicans opposing the measure were promoting a “conspiracy theory.”

“There’s no evidence that the bill does that. What you hear from people is that they don’t trust me because I’m a Democrat from New Orleans,” he said.

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