Louisiana Senate pushes to ban bestiality

We have all seen those quirky laws in each state that prohibit people from doing outlandish tasks. For example, it is illegal to give a moose an alcoholic beverage in Alaska. Laws like that gives the social media addict a quick feeling of bemusement due to its absurd and hyper-specific context, and people question why such a law would exist. 

Well, recently in Louisiana, the state Senate passed Senate Bill 236, which bans sexual intercourse with animals and buying animals for that intent. The bill passed with a vote of 25-10, and it will be sent to the House of Representatives for another vote.

My social media feed has been filled with posts that question why 10 Republican senators would want to keep bestiality legalized and why it has not already been outlawed. The truth is, technically, it was illegal before this current bill.

Louisiana law states that “crimes against nature,” which encompasses bestiality, is illegal. However, this law is directed towards a broad definition of sodomy, which includes oral and anal sex between two consenting parties. Since this law was deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2003, the bestiality part of the law cannot be effectively enforced.

In 2014, Louisiana proposed a bill that would modify the existing “crime against nature” law, which aimed to remove the section about consensual sex, which would comply with the U.S. Constitution while keeping the act of sodomy illegal during charges of child sex abuse, rape and bestiality. This reformation fell short with 66 votes against the changes versus 27 votes for the revision.

 

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This current bill aims to “better define bestiality and make it illegal under an enforceable law,” according to an article published by “The Independent.”

The way I see it, the reason why this bill is being presented is to work around some disagreement a couple years prior. Additionally, I think they needed a general punishment on the record for those convicted. The long-standing law served as a vague umbrella for which several accusations could be funneled into, and since the restrictions for bestiality cannot be used from that law since 2003, they decided to propose this bill. I’m assuming those who opposed the changes were against gay marriage, and since same-sex marriage was not nationally legalized by 2014, it would make sense that a heavily conservative state would be in opposition.

Democratic Senator Jean-Paul “JP” Morrell stated that this bill was not an attempt to strike down the sodomy laws, which I don’t necessarily agree with. The sodomy laws have a history of targeting gay men for consensual sex, and since gay marriage was made legal in the U.S. in 2015, I think it is pretty useless to have that section of the law in the books. 

Either way, there should not be an issue with passing this bill, but I do not believe the 10 Republican senators that were “against” this bill voted against the primary function of the bill. They probably thought that the bill was a waste of time, which is a fair argument. However, with politics dividing the nation every time a news station is on TV, I feel like this was a perfect opportunity to finally agree on something. This was a bill that could be latently lighthearted since I’m assuming none of our senators have a niche for a cat or a pig.

Given the defeat of the reformation for the sodomy bill in 2014, those 10 Republican senators, even if they did not vote for the 2014 bill, are taking a mutually agreeable statement and turning it into a political war. It is almost like seeing someone give a homeless person food and clothes out of the kindness of their heart and saying, “You don’t know why he’s homeless. He doesn’t deserve the food because he obviously doesn’t work hard enough to even be proud of himself.”

This bill is being presented because there needs to be a law update, one that is like a computer update. It seems like a waste of time at first, but you know that it is better to update Windows or install the newest version of Java before a frustrating situation arises. In the case of bestiality, there is probably a loophole in the law where people can get away with the act. If this bill becomes a law, it will not have any negative effect on your livelihood, unless you have a thing for the chicken farm down the road.

 

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