Only two hours after Louisiana’s state legislature squashed a law that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order to accomplish its intent.
“What we are seeing today in America is an all-out assault on religious liberty,” said Jindal, who called the executive order the “next best thing” to signing the bill.
HB 707, which would have blocked the government from penalizing companies and individuals because of the owner’s stance on same-sex marriage, was overwhelmingly defeated in the state house’s Civil Law and Procedure over fears that it legalized discrimination against LGBT people.
A joint statement from Equality Louisiana, an LGBT rights group, and Louisiana Progress Action, says the executive order will hurt the state’s economy. The statement also attributed the move to the governor’s presidential aspirations.
“It is shameful that Gov. Jindal has decided that abusing his executive power to accomplish the goals of House Bill 707, even after it was tabled indefinitely by our legislature today, is worth more effort than fixing our disastrous state budget. In his time in Iowa, he may have forgotten what everyday Louisianians value, but the testimony today against HB 707 should have reminded him. Discrimination is not a Louisiana value.
Louisiana tourism which generates over $807 million – state tax revenues generated by travel and tourism activities alone fears the loss of billions from an upcoming boycott of the state from the LGBT Community and its allies.
Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk issued the following statement about the executive order:
“Gov. Jindal’s stunt today once again underlines his disregard for Louisiana families, his disdain for the state legislature and his apparent contempt for the state’s tourism industry — the only segment of our economy his failed policies haven’t crippled. Louisiana taxpayers and businesses are once again being forced to foot the bill for Jindal’s vanity. It’s foolishness our families cannot afford.”