Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel
Edwards on Wednesday issued an order that protects LGBT state workers
and rescinds an executive order signed last year by former Governor
Bobby Jindal that protected people opposed to the marriages of gay
and lesbian couples.
Edward's order provides “employment
protections for state employees and employees of state contractors on
the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender
identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or
age,” according to the governor's office.
Hours after lawmakers refused to pass
the Marriage and Conscience Act, a bill which sought to prohibit the
government from taking adverse action against a person for expressing
a religious belief or moral conviction about marriage as a
heterosexual union, then-Governor Jindal issued an order that closely
mirrored the proposed bill. IBM was a vocal critic of the stalled
legislation and executive order.
cancels event over Bobby Jindal's order protecting gay marriage
About a month later, Jindal entered the
race for the Republican presidential nomination, fighting several
candidates for the critical social conservative vote in early states
such as Iowa.
Edwards said that Jindal's order served
“a narrow political agenda.”
“It does nothing but divide our state
and forced the business community, from Louisiana's smallest
businesses to large corporations, like IBM, to strongly oppose it.
This executive order threatens Louisiana's business growth, and it
goes against everything we stand for – unity, acceptance and
opportunity for all,” Edwards
“While this executive order respects
the religious beliefs of our people, it also signals to the rest of
the country that discrimination is not a Louisiana value, but rather,
that Louisiana is a state that is respectful and inclusive of
everyone around us,” he added.