Shreveport passes nondiscrimination ordinance, Baton Rouge law stalls

Posted on 26 Dec 2013 at 2:41pm
Shreveport

Shreveport, La.

Shreveport passed a nondiscrimination ordinance that protects LGBT people in housing, employment and public spaces.

The law passed the city council with a vote of 6–1 on Dec. 10. The mayor signed it, and it has gone into effect.

Councilman Ron Webb, who cast the only vote against the ordinance, introduced a motion to repeal it on Dec. 20. He said he didn’t want to be in the business of policing private industry. Other council members said they didn’t want to rehash issues that already had the support of six of seven councilmen.

Shreveport is the second Louisiana city to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance after New Orleans.

The Baton Rouge Advocate, that city’s general circulation newspaper, complained that a much smaller city passed a nondiscrimination ordinance before the capital city.

A previous Metro Council voted in 2007 against a resolution — “One Baton Rouge” — that was a nonbinding agreement merely expressing tolerance for people of all “colors, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, and people of all walks of life.”

Over the summer, 12 gay men were arrested in Baton Rouge and charged with sodomy. That law was declared unconstitutional in 2003 by Lawrence v. Texas.

At the time, a nondiscrimination ordinance was proposed for the parish, but no action has been taken.

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