A state judge has ruled that Louisiana
Attorney General Jeff Landry can block state legal contracts that
include LGBT protections.
Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat,
issued an executive order earlier this year that requires all state
contracts to include language prohibiting discrimination in the
workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Edwards filed a lawsuit after meeting
with Landry, a Republican, on the issue.
According to The
Times-Picayune, Judge Donald Johnson of 19th
Judicial District Court found that Edwards does not have the right to
sue Landry on the issue. Johnson also said that the law is uncertain
on who has the final word over such contracts.
“I believe that the law is uncertain
– and it does not provide the court with a clear path,” Johnson
said in delivering his ruling from the bench. “The court denies
the request of our governor.”
At a press conference earlier this
month, Landry said that he believes that he has the authority to
block the contracts because he was “defending the Legislature and
their priorities and their wishes,” a reference to lawmakers'
repeated failure to approve such protections.
“It's unfortunate that the governor
continues to want to push for a protected class that the Legislature
has six times – with bipartisan support – rejected,” Landry
The Times reported that Landry
has blocked between 40 and 50 state contracts with private law firms
over the included language.