Elbert Guillory, the temporary Democrat (he switched from Republican to Democrat in 2007 and then back to Republican last year) state senator from Louisiana, was dealt a harsh blow today when his amendment to exempt chicken boxing from laws against cockfighting was voted down.
What is chicken boxing? I'll let Guillory and the AP explain:
Guillory said chicken boxing is similar to human kickboxing, with matches that aren't fought to the death and that involve rubber 'gloves' to cover the spurs on a chicken's legs to ensure safety.
'There is no blood. There are no knives. There is no cruelty. And there is no abuse,' he said, holding two pairs of chicken boxing gloves.
See? The chickens aren't hurt at all! They like it! It's fun for them! Getting pecked at is awesome! It's not a way to get around cockfighting bans (which Louisiana was the last state to enact) at all!
Guillory called chicken boxing a "legitimate sport" and added he was worried that the bill would also make raising chickens to export to places where cockfighting is allowed illegal. Another state senator, "somewhat taken aback," according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, pointed out that this probably already was illegal. (Also check the Times-Picayune for a photo of Guillory holding up chicken boxing gloves.)
Undaunted, Guillory wanted an amendment to a cockfighting bill currently making its way through the legislature that would exempt chicken boxing from cockfighting laws as long as a veterinarian was present at the match, the chickens were evenly matched, there was no gambling and "if either combatant turns away from combat the match is determined to be over."
Another senator asked if the bill would make it illegal to wear boxing gloves while chasing chickens.
"I don't think the state seeks to regulate your poor fashion sense," said Sen. J.P. Morrell, who authored the bill and probably thought closing loopholes in the cockfighting law would be a simple process.
The senate voted 29 to 8 against the amendment, and 31 to 7 for the anti-cockfighting bill, which will now be sent to the House of Representatives. Morrell was pleased:
Last year, Guillory defended the state's law that allows creationism to be taught in public schools by saying that he went to a bare-footed, semi-nude "doctor" who threw "some bones on the ground." It wasn't exactly scientific, but it "had some validity to it," Guillory said, therefore people should be more open-minded.