I would like to urge the Metro Council of Baton Rouge to adopt the fairness ordinance introduced by Councilwoman (Denise) Marcelle. The federal government and the state of Louisiana have no laws protecting LGBT citizens from the various forms of discrimination, including housing, employment and public accommodation.

This measure is not about granting special privileges to certain groups of people. Rather, its goal is to ensure that all people are able to enjoy the same freedoms and the same legal protections. Baton Rouge is lucky to be home to a very diverse community. I would hope that each council member finds it appropriate to do whatever he/she can to protect the basic rights of every constituent. Passing the fairness ordinance on July 23 is an obvious, easy step forward.

Cathy Newman

Ph.D. student, LSU

Baton Rouge