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Louisiana lawmaker proposes -- and withdraws -- weight limit for strip club dancers

By Ben Hooper
Louisiana lawmaker proposes -- and withdraws -- weight limit for strip club dancers
A Louisiana lawmaker who proposed an amendment to ban strippers from being older than 28 and weighing more than 160 pounds withdrew the amendment and later said it was meant to be a joke about over-regulation. Photo by Rostislav_Sedlacek/Shutterstock.com

BATON ROUGE, La., May 19 (UPI) -- A Louisiana lawmaker withdrew an amendment proposing to limit exotic dancers to a maximum 160 pounds after a sharp rebuke from a colleague.

Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, brought Senate Bill 468 -- which would require exotic dancers at strip clubs to be at least 21 years of age -- to the floor of the house, and Rep. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson, then proposed an amendment to the bill that would have required strippers to be between the ages of 21 and 28.

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Havard's amendment also stated the dancers "shall be no more that one hundred sixty pounds in weight."

The lawmaker withdrew the amendment after Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, called it "offensive."

State Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, ended the ensuing chuckling in the chamber by calling the amendment an example of sexism in the male-dominated legislature.

"I've got to say, looking out over this body, I've never been more repulsed to be part of it," she said.

Stokes questioned what Havard "was thinking" when he proposed the amendment, which she called "a dangerous thing to do politically. It was a bad idea."

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"I refuse the spirit of everything that I heard," she said. "And I can't even believe the behavior in here. I think we need to call an end to this. I hear derogatory comments about women in this place regularly. I hear and I see women get treated differently than men, and I'm going to tell you what, you gave me a perfect forum to talk about it right now."

Havard told the New Orleans Times-Picayune his amendment was meant to be taken as a joke.

"It was a poke at overregulating everything -- where are we going to stop?" Havard said. "It was aimed at both men and women. I can't strip either. I'm a little overweight."

Havard said he hasn't seen any of the sexism cited by Stokes in her comments.

"I haven't seen that at all," he said.

"That's why I'm not going to go apologize," Havard said. "It would give credence to that comment."

The bill -- minus the amendment -- passed 96-0.

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