Louisiana “License to Discriminate” Bill Pulled by Author
Sen. Barrow Peacock (R-Shreveport-Bossier) introduced a bill, SB 485, to directly attack the recently-passed “Be Fair Shreveport” ordinance, which brought Shreveport’s nondiscrimination policies in line with those of dozens of states and hundreds of cities around the country. The bill would have prohibited local governments from establishing protections against discrimination that are not already explicitly included in state law.
After receiving phone calls and emails from folks all over Louisiana, Sen. Peacock agreed to pull the bill!
Less than 24 hours after we activated our supporters, the LGBT community has seen our first win for the 2014 Legislative Session. This is a testament to what we can do when we all work together – to the power of building a statewide LGBT coalition.
EQLA will continue to monitor the various pieces of legislation that affect LGBT people and provide updates like these. We rely on your support to continue the fight for LGBT equality in Louisiana.
This bill, however, was by no means unique. Since 2011, Tennessee, Montana, Nebraska, Michigan, and Oklahoma have all considered similar measures, almost all in response to major cities passing inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances. The legislative history of these things is not a secret – the authors have usually been more than happy to tell people that states need these kinds of laws to protect themselves against cities attempting to do right by their citizens. Only Tennessee has actually passed such a law so far; they have fizzled out everywhere else.
by Matt Patterson
Research and Policy Coordinator