BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers in the Louisiana House backed a proposal aimed at keeping cities from removing Confederate monuments, despite pleas from black colleagues who called the bill "divisive" and "offensive."
After more than two hours of fiery debate, the House voted 65-31 Monday for Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody's bill.
Following the vote, every black representative left the House floor.
The measure would ban the removal of any plaque, statue or other monument on public property commemorating a historic military figure or event - unless local voters approve the removal in an election.
Carmody's bill, headed next to the Senate, comes as cities across the South debate the appropriateness of memorials to the Confederacy. New Orleans removed two Confederate-era monuments and intends to take down two more.