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Ever hear of "chicken boxing?" Didn't think so. Yet, when Louisiana state lawmakers sought Tuesday to sharpen language in the state's 2008 ban on cockfighting, an unexpected debate arose over poultry pugilism, with Sen. Elbert Guillory holding court for befuddled colleagues. Chicken boxing, the Republican explained, is a sport where the combatants don "gloves" instead of barbaric blades used in cockfights that end in the death of a chicken. Guillory wanted to make sure that laws aimed at ending cockfighting did not also ban what he considers a more humane version. "Leather spur covers and plastic spur covers, um, that are used in the legitimate sport of chicken boxing might be considered paraphernalia," Guillory reportedly told the chamber. "Wait, wait, wait ... chicken boxing?" Democratic state Sen. J.P. Morrell, sponsor of the new legislation, responded. "Yes, chicken boxing," Guillory said, according The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported.
Guillory then explained the distinction between cockfighting and chicken boxing, claiming the latter was not a blood sport and should not be illegal. "Just as dueling is a blood sport, two men fighting each other with swords is a blood sport that is illegal," Guillory reportedly said. "Similarly, two men with boxing gloves on can box each other as a sport that is legal. This is the same distinction between chicken boxing and cockfighting." One of Guillory's fellow legislators, Republican Sen. Robert Adley, was quick to express his confusion over the sport. "I would be very interested to find out how some chicken stands on two legs while it boxes," Adley said, according to the newspaper. "I understand how humans do it, but I’m trying to figure out how it happens with a chicken. That would be interesting to determine."
James Demoruelle, of Ville Platte, said he’s been a cockfighter for 53 years.
“God put the gameness in the chicken, not man,” Demoruelle said. “We don’t make them fight. You can’t make a gamecock fight if it doesn’t want to fight.”
He spoke out against the bill, saying it could easily make a felon out of someone like him who is a certified game fowl judge who also owns “probably a quarter million dollars” worth of cockfighting paraphernalia.
He later added that people should be free to use one’s property as they see fit — similar to cattle owners slaughtering cows for meat.
“I’m passionate about this,” Demoruelle told the committee. “Been doing it for 53 years. I wanted to retire and do it full-time. I enjoy the people that participate. They’re good people.”
They’re people in high finance, they’re judges, they’re district attorneys, they’re senators, they’re representatives.”
SB523 advanced on a 4-2 vote. It now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.
Granted, cockfighting and slavery aren't exactly the same, but you see my point...
I just wondered whether the legality of an imagined sport to cover for an illegal sport had any place in politics to begin with...