What’s the Matter With Louisiana?

The last time I checked, I lived in the same country as the good people of Louisiana, but sometimes it doesn’t seem like this is possible.

Some Louisiana state Republicans are pushing back against a measure in the Baton Rouge legislature to toughen bestiality laws over fears that 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.

I live in bucolic Chester County, Pennsylvania in a hilltop cabin in the woods. Below me on all sides are horse farms that were first developed to provide stock to the Conestoga company’s teamsters who were pushing our citizens westward on newly laid roads. We still have plenty of livestock in this area, but it would occur to no one that we need to “strengthen our bestiality laws.” And if some incident or another were to change our minds about this, I don’t think anyone would interject that the whole effort was a Trojan horse to legalize sodomy.

I don’t know what goes on down in Louisiana, but this whole conversation strikes me as insane on almost every level, including that this just doesn’t seem to be something responsive to the concerns of the people. In 2003, the Supreme Court invalidated Louisiana’s anti-sodomy laws in their Lawrence v. Texas ruling, so the legislature in the Bayou state is debating a dead letter.

It’s hard for me to understand why this debate is happening at all.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.