A group of scholars from the American Political Science Association have signed on to a boycott of the group’s 2012 convention in New Orleans because Louisiana denies marriage equality to LGBT residents.
A 2004 amendment to the Louisiana Constitution denies marriage and “the legal incidents thereof” to same-sex couples. This provision places an affirmative burden on visiting lesbian and gay pairs, who may never have legally recognized relationships in Louisiana, regardless of their marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership in home states or countries. For example, the 2004 amendment may well invalidate, by operation of law, medical-care agreements signed outside of Louisiana between the members of same-sex couples because such documents touch the legal incidents of marriage which the state constitution withholds from those pairs. As a result, the undersigned support the boycott of the American Political Science Association’s 2012 New Orleans conference and will not attend that meeting. We believe that a substantial risk of serious discrimination against visiting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) political scientists and their families exists in the Crescent City.
The boycott’s organizers claim they can legally terminate their contracts with host hotels because their agreement states that New Orleans was chosen for the convention because of its anti-discrimination ordinances. Since the city is enforcing state rules on marriage equality, the contract is void.