Louisiana councilwoman who proposed ban on LGBT discrimination receives threats as vote nears
The woman who authored Baton Rouge’s proposed “fairness ordinance” — a controversial bill that would ban discrimination against LGBT people when it comes to housing, employment, and public accommodation — is receiving threatening mail from someone calling himself “Jack in the Box,” WBRZ reports.
On Friday, East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle found the hand-delivered letter in her mailbox. “Beware of motives cloaked in words. Fairness ordinance. Be careful and consider your vote,” it read.
“If you don’t agree with me, that’s one thing,” Marcelle said. “To threaten me, that’s another. If you actually are a concerned citizen and you don’t mean any harm, than why wouldn’t you use your real name instead of signing the postcard ‘Jack in the Box.’”
Marcelle’s proposed “fairness ordinance” is a controversial bill in Louisiana’s state capital. The last time the City Council attempted to vote on it, the discussion went on for so long so the Council had to defer voting on it until the next meeting.
Opponents say the measure forces the state to recognize non-traditional sexuality and gender identities as legitimate. As Gene Mills, president of the Louisiana Family Forum, wrote yesterday, the ordinance “is aimed at providing special protections for “sexual orientation” (voluntary homosexual and bisexual conduct) and “gender identity” not based on biological gender at birth, but ‘internal sense of gender.’ It should more accurately be called the Homosexual Affirmation Ordinance.”
Others worry that the ordinance will allow litigious individuals to lie about their sexuality just so they can sue for discrimination. “There’s no statistical data to see how many people per capita would be affected as it relates to sexual identity and orientation,” fellow City Council member Chauna Banks-Daniel said. “I know many people who may identify as being lesbian. The next day they identify as heterosexual.”
The City Council will attempt to vote on the measure again at 4 p.m. It is not currently expected to pass.
[Image via AFP]