Domestic Abuse Same Sex Laws - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Domestic Abuse Same Sex Laws

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SHREVEPORT, La -  Same sex couples don't face the same charges when it comes to domestic abuse as heterosexual couples.

It's a dispute that sometimes leaves officers looking for answers and does not carry the same legal weight as heterosexual couples.

"You're gonna see a lot of the same victims because it's difficult for a person just to leave, " said Shreveport Police's Lindsay Bonner.

Police can only charge the partners with simple battery.

Different charges for different people deprives police of another tool, as well as equal treatment proponents of same-sex rights argue.

The law , as it reads, only applies to heterosexual couples and others as it is defined under "household members."

Any misdemeanor battery that happens between same sex couples only supports charges of simple battery, but heterosexual couples, if they live together, it's domestic abuse battery,

" Domestic violence, whether it's in a same sex or opposite sex relationship, it's reprehensible," said John Denison with Louisiana's for Equality Foundation.

"Here in Louisiana, there's not government and the rights of the same sex couple no matter whether they're legally married in another state or not, " said Denison.

When it comes to same sex couples the law is different and can leave officers with questions about how to apply the law to same sex couples, but advocates say it's not gonna change anytime soon..

"So when the unfortunate instance of abuse happens in a relationship, the law does not cover individuals of opposite sex marriage couples, and of course the law, should be doing that but don't expect louisiana's abuse laws to be on it's agenda anytime soon. "

For more on the law log onto http://legis.la.gov/lss/lss.asp?folder=88

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