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LGBT housing rights bill dies in committee

Lawmakers say no to anti-discrimination additions

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  A bill that would have added LGBT-related language to the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act was kayoed in committee last week. House Bill 804, authored by Rep. Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans, died in the House Commerce Committee on a 13-5 vote.

  Louisiana law already has language barring landlords from discriminating on several bases, including race, religion and familial status. Brossett's bill would have added several new groups to the act's anti-discrimination language, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and marital status.

  The city of Shreveport passed a similar LGBT bill last year after much discussion, while New Orleans enacted its own gender and sexual orientation anti-discrimination language 15 years ago.

  Brossett, who will join the New Orleans City Council on May 5 as the new representative from District D, won unanimous council support for his bill.

  A similar bill, House Bill 871, filed by state Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, adds sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, lawful source of income and status as a victim of domestic abuse to the anti-discrimination language in the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act. That bill is pending in the House Commerce Committee.

  Meanwhile, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center will host an informational event, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Expanding Housing Choice for Domestic Violence Survivors," at the New Orleans Museum of Art from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 16.

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