Within hours after Louisiana lawmakers shelved a controversial “religious freedom” bill, Governor Bobby Jindal, a possible candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, responded by issuing an executive order.

The proposed legislation, known as the Marriage Conscience Act, sought to prohibit the government from taking adverse action against a person for expressing a religious belief or moral conviction about marriage. It died with a bipartisan 10-2 vote in a House committee on Tuesday.

Almost immediately, Jindal issued a statement in which he said that he was “disappointed by the committee's action” and pledged to issue an executive order that will “accomplish the intent of HB 707 to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

“This Executive Order will prohibit the state from denying or revoking a tax exemption, tax deduction, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, professional license, certification, accreditation, or employment on the basis the person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Jindal said.

Jindal called the executive order the “next best thing” to signing the Marriage Conscience Act.

“What we are seeing today in America is an all-out assault on religious liberty,” he said.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Jindal dismissed concerns IBM expressed about his support for a “bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status”

“I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath,” Jindal wrote.

“The bill does not, as opponents assert, create a right to discriminate against, or generally refuse service to, gay men or lesbians. The bill does not change anything as it relates to the law in terms of discrimination suits between private parties. It merely makes our constitutional freedom so well defined that no judge can miss it,” he added.

Republican governors in Indiana and Arkansas backed down from supporting similar measures after businesses threatened to boycott those states. Louisiana's bill, however, went further, Doug Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia and a leading religious freedom expert, told MSNBC last month.

“This Louisiana bill really does what people accused the Indiana law of doing,” Laycock said. “The sponsor and the governor says it doesn't authorize discrimination. I have no idea what that means, it pretty clearly does.”

At Tuesday's committee hearing, Rep. Mike Johnson, the Republican lawmaker behind the proposal, was forced to acknowledge that the bill would allow an emergency room surgeon to refuse to operate on a married gay person, or a teacher to refuse to meet with a student's gay parents. In both situations, the state would be barred from taking action.

In defending his support for such measures during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Jindal warned against creating “special rights” for gays.