New Orleans City Hall

New Orleans City Hall.

New Orleans LGBT rights activists and prison rights activists will lead a march Saturday to advocate for the repeal of Louisiana’s “crime against nature by solicitation” (CANS) law, which has language outlawing individuals from soliciting oral and anal sex.

Organizers argue that the law disproportionately targets low-income women and transgender women of color.

The march — dubbed CANScan’tSTAND March for Justice — will coincide with Southern Decadence, the annual LGBT festival held over Labor Day weekend. The march will start at Louis Armstrong Park and ending at Duncan Plaza.

At Duncan Plaza, several speakers will discuss the CANS law, including event coordinator Wendi Cooper, New Orleans City Hall’s Director of Human Rights and Equity Vincenzo Pasquantonio and New Orleans Criminal Court Judge Judge Arthur Hunter.

Cooper, a program director of Operation Restoration, an organization aimed at helping women and girls impacted by the prison or juvenile justice system, said since her conviction under the CANS law is a felony, she must mark that she is a felon on many job applications.

“We are still walking with the CANS conviction on our record. More than three-quarters of people who have CANS convictions are women, and four-fifths are black,” Cooper said in a press release. “This march is to liberate these individuals of the oppressive, discriminatory law and send a message loud and clear that CANS can’t stand for one day longer.”

In 2012, the Louisiana Legislature struck down a portion of CANS, ruling that those convicted under the law did not have to register as sex offenders.

Last year, the legislature made changes to the state’s unconstitutional sodomy ban, known as the “crime against nature” law, by passing a bill that separated anti-bestiality laws from it. Though the sodomy ban dating back to the 1800s was declared unconstitutional by the courts, it remains on the books today.

The march will begin at 1 p.m. and last until 5 p.m.

Follow Kaylee Poche on Twitter: @kaylee_poche

Email Gambit staff writer Kaylee Poche at kayleep@gambitweekly.com.