Republican lawmakers in Louisiana are fighting to take down a bill that would make sexual abuse of an animal a crime. Why? Because they’re worried it would interfere with anti-gay laws that are already on the books, even though those laws are unenforceable.
The bill’s author, State Senator J.P. Morrell, says the sole intention of the measure is to make bestiality illegal under an enforceable law. Still, 10 Republicans voted against Senate Bill 236 earlier this month.
The bill would explicitly separate bestiality laws from the state’s general “crimes against nature” law. The current law bans “unnatural carnal copulation” against animals only in passing, along with measures against anal sex and marriage or sex with blood relatives.
Conservative lawmakers say the bill is being used as a Trojan horse to eventually delete sodomy laws.
“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,” Sen. Ryan Gatti, a Republican who was one of 10 senators to vote against the bill, told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
A representative with the Humane Society of the United States, which is advocating for Senate Bill 236, told the AP that it was was the first time “we’ve seen one hint of opposition to these bills.”
It’s unclear how the measure will fare as it heads to the state’s House of Representatives.
The AP reports that the Louisiana Family Forum, a Christian conservative organization with considerable sway in the chamber, has raised concerns.
“I think the provisions of his bill go way too far,” Gene Mills, president of the group, told the AP.