New Orleans Reconsiders Banner Policy Amid Concern Over Antiabortion-Rights Signs

January 15, 2016 — New Orleans officials will consider the city's policy about the kinds of banners that may be hung on city-owned lampposts following concern about the city's decision to allow the Louisiana Right to Life Federation to hang banners with antiabortion-rights imagery, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

City policies allow "community awareness" banners to be posted on city lampposts. The rules prohibit banners that have a commercial purpose or directly advocate for a specific ballot measure or candidate.

City officials said they did not consider the antiabortion-rights banners political when they were approved because they were not related to a particular election. However, City Council members Stacy Head (D) and LaToya Cantrell (D) questioned whether such banners should be permitted to stay in place. In addition, an online petition seeking the removal of the banners garnered more than 19,500 signatures.

On Wednesday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's (D) administration said it will halt approval of new banners "for a review and evaluation period," which is expected to last one to two months. The antiabortion-rights banners will remain posted until their originally scheduled removal date at the end of January (Adelson, Baton RougeAdvocate, 1/13).