IBM on Friday canceled a ribbon-cutting
ceremony for its new National Service Center in Baton Rouge scheduled
to take place Monday over an executive order signed by Louisiana's
Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, a possible presidential candidate.
According to Fox
8, several city leaders said that Jindal's order was the reason
behind the last-minute cancellation.
Jindal issued the order mere hours
after Louisiana lawmakers shelved a controversial “religious
freedom” bill that sought to prohibit the government from taking
adverse action against a person for expressing a religious belief or
moral conviction about marriage. Jindal's order closely mirrors the
IBM was a vocal critic of the stalled
legislation, saying that it was “deeply concerned” about Jindal's
support for a “bill that legally protects discrimination based on
same-sex marriage status.”
Jindal responded in a The New York
Times op-ed: “I have a clear message for any corporation that
contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath.”
Local and state officials worked hard
to convince IBM to build the center in Baton Rouge.