IBM on Friday said that it is opposed
to passage of a so-called religious freedom bill in Louisiana.
House Bill 707, titled the Marriage and
Conscience Act, is being championed in the House by Rep. Mike
Johnson, a Republican. It would prohibit the government from taking
adverse action against a person for expressing a religious belief or
moral conviction about marriage. Opponents argue that the
legislation would allow businesses to refuse to serve gay and lesbian
In a letter to Republican Governor
Bobby Jindal – a possible presidential candidate – IBM said it
was “deeply concerned by reports that you intend to support this
“We located [a technology services
delivery center] in Baton Rouge because we believe Louisiana has
great talent and would continue to be a rich source of such talent.
However a bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex
marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and
prospective employees, and is antithetical to our company's values,”
said in the letter signed by James M. Driesse, a senior state
executive at the company.
“We urge you to work with the
Legislature to ensure this legislation is not discriminatory,” the
Jindal backs “religious freedom” bill.)