Last edited: February 13, 2005


Lawmaker Tries to Create Bills that Make Sense

The Times-Picayune, May 28, 2003
3800 Howard Ave., New Orleans, LA 70140
Fax: 504-826-3369

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 sentence.

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 sense.

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 of Louisiana.

—Rep. Daniel R. Martiny, Metairie

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