Have you ever been to Baton Rouge? While the capital city of Louisiana is often overshadowed by New Orleans, it’s not a bad place to live. In fact, it’s a very lovely port city that serves as a major political and commercial hub for the region. Its port is one of the busiest in the nation, and while it may not be home to Mardi Gras, it’s still a great place to live and work. The LGBT community has a strong presence in the city, too, making it a place you might consider relocating to if you’re moving to the south.
Baton Rouge’s Gay Districts
Baton Rouge actually has a couple different places where many LGBT people congregate. Louisiana State University attracts a large number of students from diverse backgrounds every year, and the nearby Spanish Town is one of the city’s gay ghettos. It gets its name from the fact that many of the homes located in the neighborhood are done in the Spanish style, giving the entire area its own unique look. It may be difficult to purchase or even rent a home in this neighborhood during the school year because a lot of students move into the area.
There are a couple other good LGBT neighborhoods in Baton Rouge. Beauregard Town is very nice, but also expensive, while South Baton Rouge and Shenandoah are more affordable. Mid City is also known for being very welcoming and accepting.
LGBT Rights in Louisiana
As far as what rights you’ll have in the state, Louisiana has been a fairly conservative state. It wasn’t until Lawrence v. Texas that the state’s sodomy laws were removed from the books, although those laws did equally apply to both same and opposite-sex couples. However, when the Louisiana House of Representatives voted on a bill to completely remove those laws from the books in 2014, the vote failed by more than two-thirds.
Same-sex marriage, likewise, wasn’t made legal in the state until Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. Prior to that, the state’s Civil Code had prohibited gay marriage since the late 1990s, and the state added a constitutional amendment stating the same thing in 2004.
As far as adoption goes, the state’s law preventing same-sex couples from adopting was struck down in 2014. Before that, single-parent adoption was allowed that was not restricted to sexual orientation.
The state does have hate crime laws that protect individuals based on sexual orientation, but not on gender identity.