Friday, May 27, 2016
La.: Critic of over-regulation gets condemned
He used satire, which is always dangerous these days
State Rep. Kenny Havard said Thursday he won’t apologize over his “joke” legislation that sought to ban exotic dancers from being overweight or older than 28 years.
He took a firm stand on Thursday, despite numerous demands he apologize, blaming the firestorm his comments created on the delicate sensibilities of a nation that he said is overly concerned with being politically correct.
Throughout the day Thursday, legislators openly castigated Havard for what they described as foolish, insulting and offensive behavior which they said has cast an unfortunate shadow over the Legislature. Gov. John Bel Edwards called the move “unfortunate” and “not funny,” while other legislators — male and female — said Havard’s comments were hurtful to women.
On Wednesday, the House chamber debated a bill to raise the age of strip club dancers from 18 to 21. Havard attached a formal amendment to the bill — which he quickly withdrew in the face of opposition — that would have mandated dancers could not be older than 28 years old and weigh more than 160 pounds.
The action quickly drew the ire of women legislators who said his bill was emblematic of casual sexism frequently displayed in the State Capitol.
Havard on Thursday denied that his amendment was directed at women. He maintained he was trying to make an example about how the Legislature is overregulating businesses. He voted favorably for the bill.