NAACP proposes travel advisory for Louisiana after recent ‘Legislative Policies and Actions’
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The NAACP Louisiana State Conference has formally requested a national travel advisory for the state from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Officials said this comes after, “A disconcerting trend of policies and actions taken by Republican legislators in the State of Louisiana that target and marginalize specific groups within the population, including African Americans, members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, immigrants, and those who exercise their right to free speech.”
Read the rest of the news release below from the NAACP Louisiana State Conference:
Recent actions under the influence of Republican legislators have fostered an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, marked by a blatant, relentless, and systemic attack on democracy and civil rights. Such policies undermine the principles of diversity and inclusion, disregarding the well-being and rights of the African American community and other marginalized groups.
In 2023, some members of the Louisiana Legislature proposed several bills with the potential to negatively impact African Americans,the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and other marginalized groups. (A detailed breakdown of these bills can be found in the appendix of this release.) In response to this legislative climate, we implore Governor John Bel Edwards to veto any or all of these pieces of legislation should they achieve endorsement from the Louisiana legislature.
Furthermore, a recent decision to halt the investigation into the death of Louisiana motorist Ronald Greene and the alleged coverup only underscores the need for this advisory. The prioritization of public safety, specifically that of African Americans and those traveling to Louisiana, cannot be guaranteed under the current state of affairs.
In consideration of these developments, we urge individuals, particularly African Americans, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, to exercise extreme caution when traveling to or within the State of Louisiana. Visitors should be aware that the state may not prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion and may have discriminatory laws or policies that disproportionately affect marginalized communities.
We encourage Louisiana residents to join us in our advocacy campaigns against the regressive laws that Republican legislators are enacting. We can amplify our voices to protect our democracy and civil rights when we stand together.
About the NAACP: The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all people.
Appendix: A complete list of the potentially damaging bills proposed by the Louisiana legislature in 2023
For the African American community:
- HB 70: Amends the present law to reduce the opportunity for the reduction of a sentence and parole eligibility for offenders convicted for the fourth or subsequent time of a nonviolent felony offense.
- HB 464: Increases the minimum term of imprisonment for the possession of a firearm by a felon from five years to 10 years.
- HB 646: Provides for the annual canvass of registered voters
- SB 23 makes the Secretary of State the only official who can determine the locations of alternative locations for early voting.
- SB 46: Provides for the review of textbooks and other instructional materials
- SB 54: Repeals provisions relative to police officers making arrests for certain misdemeanors and felonies.
- SB 130: Authorizes retired law enforcement officers and retired elected law enforcement department heads to carry concealed firearms if POST certified at the time of retirement.
- SB 159: Allows seventeen-year-olds (17) to be held and tried as adults under certain circumstances.
For the LGBTQIA2S+ community:
- HB 466, “Don’t Say LGBTQ+,” prevents students and educators across the state from having and providing safe, inclusive classrooms. It will block teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people and isolating LGBTQ+ kids. HB 466 silences educators by banning the instruction and discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity during any extracurricular academic, athletic, or social activities in grades K–12. It also bans school employees and other presenters from discussing their own sexual orientation or gender identity.
- HB 648: Gender Affirming Care Ban: Bans physicians from providing age-appropriate, best-practice health care for transgender minors under the age of 18. This bill contradicts guidelines recommended by every major medical association, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and more, because gender-affirming care saves lives.
- HB 81: Pronoun Restriction: Allows schools to forcibly out and intentionally misgender transgender and non-binary students.
- Summary: State lawmakers are targeting LGBTQIA2S+ rights by limiting the ability to update gender information on IDs and records, weakening nondiscrimination laws, restricting free speech and expression, banning affirming care for trans youth, and blocking access to medically necessary health care. This puts transgender people at risk of losing jobs, facing harassment, and other harms.
Recognizing the unlikely event of all the proposed legislative measures gaining favorable passage through the Louisiana Legislature, we are nonetheless extending a crucial preemptive plea to Governor John Bel Edwards. In an effort to protect his entire citizenry and tourists visiting the state, we vehemently request that he employ his authority to veto any or all of these pieces of legislation that succeed in obtaining endorsement from the Louisiana legislature.
President Michael McClanahan, NAACP Louisiana State Conference
President Eugene Collins, NAACP Baton Rouge Branch
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