According to Kathleen Benfield of the American Family Association of New Orleans, expanding fair housing protections to LGBT individuals is unnecessary because “you’d be hard-pressed to find a disenfranchised gay” in Louisiana.
On Monday, GNOFHAC partnered with Representative Brossett to introduce HB 804, a bill calling for a ban on housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
We were blown away by the outpouring of support: the New Orleans City Council unanimously endorsed the bill, which was also publicly backed by the New Orleans Apartment Association, a Unitarian Universalist minister, and the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.
We were especially moved by the sheer volume of supporters who responded to our emails and contacted their State Reps — outreach around HB804 drew responses from more supporters than our last four action alerts combined.
Despite overwhelming public support for HB804, only five Louisiana legislators voted in support of the bill. The other 13 sided with the opposition, who cited thinly veiled “safety concerns” and insinuated that having LGBT neighbors would be akin to living next to sexual predators.
Monday’s hearing set a dangerous precedent of ignoring facts and voter opinion in favor of antiquated stereotypes and faulty logic. The hearing was a temporary setback, but we are energized by those who took a public stand to expand housing protections to the LGBT community in Louisiana. We’ll fight for several similar bills in the coming months.
We remain committed to ensuring that housing is equally accessible for all people, regardless of whom they love. That’s why I’m urging you to publicly support the GNO Fair Housing Action Center’s work to support equal rights for the LGBT community.
Please contribute today to make a statement to the Louisiana legislature. Join us in expanding equality for all Louisianans!
Have you or a loved one experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity? Share your story here.
Learn more about the American Family Association.
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