Capital City Alliance calls for support of Metro Council to pass Human Rights Ordinance.

This time is now for a Human Rights Ordinance in Baton Rouge to provide employment and housing protections for all people.

While Sheriff Gautreaux has shown a willingness to work on the problem that was brought to light just a few days ago, more needs to be done in East Baton Rouge Parish to ensure the safety of the LGBT citizens who live there. The Sheriff has expressed intent to work with the Louisiana Legislature to remove the unconstitutional portions of “crimes against nature” law from the books.

Policies can be made at the local level in EBR to improve the climate for LGBT people. LGBT people in Baton Rouge can still be fired or kicked out of their homes simply because they are LGBT. “When will we stop trying to criminalize conversations and start providing protections for all of our residents?” asked Matthew Patterson, a Board Member for Capital City Alliance.

Capital City Alliance, with the support of Equality Louisiana (EQLA) – the statewide coalition of LGBT and allied organizations, is beginning a campaign for such an ordinance, and we need your help. Both organizations are fully committed to only accepting an ordinance that provides protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Anything else would fall short of what Baton Rouge citizens need and deserve.

According to Tim S. West, the President of Equality Louisiana, “Having an ordinance like this in the Capital City sets the kind of precedent we need for the rest of the state.”

On The Jim Engster Show, Councilman John Delgado said he would support the ordinance but he also did not know where his fellow Councilmembers would fall on the issue. We want to call on the Metro Council Members to follow the lead of their colleague by speaking out against the discrimination against LGBT people in their parish and city and by speaking in favor of a Human Rights Ordinance.

Some may be skeptical to support this ordinance because of memories of the “One Baton Rouge” Resolution that failed years ago.

According to Patterson, “Unlike the failed ‘One Baton Rouge’ Resolution of days past, which expressed an abstract sentiment of welcoming and tolerance, a Human Rights Ordinance will provide concrete protections and remedies for all citizens of Baton Rouge.”

“Maybe it is time. It’s the values I instill in my son and my children,” said Councilman Trae Welch. Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel said she could support the ordinance if she knew it was not redundant when compared to other laws on the books.

I hope the Metro Council will take advantage of this perfect moment to introduce and pass such an ordinance. As the Capital City, Baton Rouge should be working on ways to protect all people.

As we begin this campaign for protections for all people in East Baton Rouge Parish regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or any other personal characteristic, CCA needs your help and your support. Please, consider donating to support the work that has to be done if we are going to see an ordinance like this in Baton Rouge.

by Micah Caswell
Communications Director

Time to Protect the People of EBR Parish
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