Lawmaker Tries to Create Bills that Make Sense
Times-Picayune, May 28, 2003
3800 Howard Ave., New Orleans, LA 70140
In reading your letters to the editor and listening to
radio talk shows it is obvious to me that there is some confusion as to what
House Bill 1981 does.
Simply stated, the bill imposes a mandatory 10-day jail
sentence on people found guilty of the most intimate of sexual acts performed
in public for the purpose of gaining the attention of the public. That is all
the bill does.
The news reports give the public the impression that the
bill contained a special exemption for women who bare their breasts in public,
as is commonly done during Mardi Gras. The bill contains no such exemption.
That conduct was and still is illegal, but does not involve a mandatory jail
Some people question my motives, suggesting that I suffer
from homophobia. That is untrue. The bill applies to heterosexuals as well as
homosexuals. In fact, my voting record will demonstrate that I took the lead
during the 2001 legislative session in pointing out the flaws in the Crime
Against Nature statute. I was criticized then as having a pro-gay agenda. That
was not true then, nor is it now. My only agenda is to make laws that make
In this case, the conduct in question is most
egregious—not so much for what is being done, but where it is being done.
When we as a society lower our standards to “anything goes,” we attract
people who have low standards, and we all suffer.
Lastly, on the issue of how a judge or prosecutor is
going to be able to apply the statute, I hope we never have to find out. I
would much prefer that such acts simply not occur, at least not in the state
—Rep. Daniel R. Martiny, Metairie