Executive Order protects rights of gay and transgender people in Louisiana
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed into law via Executive Order an anti-discrimination bill protecting the rights of gay and transgender people, a strong message to his fellow deep southerners that “religious liberty” is not a justification for discrimination based on sexual or gender orientation.
The Democratic Governor’s executive order will also protect state employees and employees of state contractors against discrimination based on other criteria including race, religion, disability, or age.
Most notably, the order is rescinding a different one signed by his immediate predecessor, Bobby Jindal, onetime GOP presidential contender, which was part of the “religious freedom” movement in many Southern states seeking to limit same-sex marriage rights and along with other basic civil liberties currently marginalizing southern LGBT communities.
“The previous administration’s executive (order) I am rescinding was meant to serve a narrow political agenda,” Edwards said, “It does nothing but divide our state and force the business community, from Louisiana’s smallest businesses to large corporations like IBM, to strongly oppose it.”
Laws suppressing LGBT rights have faced widespread criticism from corporate, entertainment, political, and sports leaders, in particular HB2 in North Carolina, barring transgender people from using public bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificates. Both PayPal and Deutsche Bank made strong statements announcing they were freezing plans to create hundreds of new jobs in Charlotte, and rock star Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in the state to protest the law.
This story is developing, and will be updated as new developments are made available.