A House Commerce Committee voted on Monday to kill a bill introduced by state Rep. Jared Brosett to prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity based discrimination. It will therefore remain legal for private owners to deny housing to LGBT residents of Louisiana, The Times-Picayune reported Monday.
Federal rules established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development already protect LGBT people from some housing discrimination, but private owners can still legally discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. The legislation voted on today would have applied to large businesses or landowners with more than three units.
Monday’s bill was one of several backed by the organization Equality Louisiana, an LGBT advocacy group based in Baton Rouge.
Matthew Patterson, the group’s Research and Policy Coordinator, said he is optimistic that they will pass other legislation, although he was surprised by the 13-5 vote on Monday’s bill.
“I am personally disappointed that we did not hold on to all the Democratic votes,” said Patterson.
The group released a hopeful statement on Monday.
“Despite HB 804 not moving forward, there is still hope for fair housing legislation in the 2014 legislative session.”