Louisiana House backs ban on removal of Confederate statues

"With today's vote, hopefully we move forward to assure that the people have a voice in that process and can decide what they will and will not allow to remain in their public spaces", Carmody said Monday.

Carmody's bill - which likely is unable to stop New Orleans from moving the remaining two monuments slated for removal in the coming weeks - prevents municipalities from removing "military monuments" on public property without a majority vote from parish voters giving them permission.

GAS TAX BILL & TAX REFORM MEASURES A Louisiana House panel Tuesday narrowly approved a bill that would raise the state's gasoline tax by 17 cents per gallon...a move that's expected to raise a half-billion in state aid for roads and bridges.

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards on Tuesday called the bill "problematic", impractical and unnecessarily divisive, but he did not say whether will veto it if it comes to his desk. When asked by New Orleans Rep. Gary Carter whether Carmody believes the USA should keep its monuments "that honor people who fought to maintain slavery", Carmody said he's merely "interjecting the public's will". "While it's certainly part of our history, can we say it's the best part?"

Following the vote, every black representative left the House floor. New Orleans recently removed two Confederate-era monuments from prominent locations and intends to take down two more.

The debate over Confederate symbols has flared since nine black parishioners were shot to death by an avowed racist at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

House Speaker Taylor Barras, who supported the bill, says he's concerned that the issue's divisiveness could impact other debates.

Carmody was the only lawmaker to speak in favor of the bill Monday.

St. Louis officials looked into removing the Confederate monument around the time of the vandalism but could not find a museum willing to take it.

Rebel flag-wielding pro-monument supporters and "Southern nationalists" from the League of the South clashed with anti-monument protesters on May 7 during dueling New Orleans demonstrations celebrating and denouncing the removal of Lee's statue from Lee Circle. He also said the state should not be intervening into these local issues.

"In my city, the city of New Orleans, should we have a statue or memorial for someone who fought for my enslavement?"

New Orleans prohibits police officers from asking suspects about their immigration status.

Pierre McGraw, president of the Monumental Task Committee, which brought the lawsuits against the city, said during an afternoon news conference across the street from the Beauregard statue that he didn't see any way to save it.

  • Larry Hoffman