The Latest: Louisiana Set a Dangerous Precedent this Week

May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

Louisiana set a dangerous precedent this week. Two different nondiscrimination bills -- both positive pieces of legislation that would have extended protections to LGBT Louisianans -- were tabled. 

HB 707, the very narrow religious exemption bill that would’ve allowed individuals or businesses to discriminate based on their religious beliefs solely as related to same-sex marriage, was defeated in committee. This was a great success for the LGBT community, but unfortunately we could not celebrate too long.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, no friend to the LGBT community, issued an executive order accomplishing everything HB 707 intended to do. He has thereby “enshrined discrimination” in Louisiana.

While this order has been called “overreaching and more than likely unenforceable,” we’ll have to wait to see how this unprecedented action will be received outside the state. Inside the state, one governor has already taken a stand against the order. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu responded to the discriminatory executive order by issuing his own executive order in opposition:

“With this executive order, I am issuing a clarifying call to the nation that New Orleans is an accepting, inviting city that thrives on its diversity and welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms. In New Orleans, we believe religious liberty and freedoms should be protected and discrimination prohibited, and we have passed our own laws to reflect that principle. This executive order is an important, symbolic affirmation that discrimination in any form will not be tolerated in New Orleans – and it should not be tolerated anywhere in Louisiana.”

Federation member Forum for Equality was one of the groups working in Louisiana to defeat HB 707, and they will continue to fight for equal protections for LGBT people in their state.

More You might like

Say Hello to Our Newest State Partner!

Our state partner network is growing, and we’re so excited to introduce you to our newest member: Lavender Rights Project!

July 1, 2024
Launched: Vanguard HIV Policy Change-Makers Fellowship

Equality Federation Institute (EFI), empowered by ViiV Healthcare and our network of state-based LGBTQ+ advocacy partners, launched a bold pilot program this month: The Vanguard HIV Policy Change-Makers Fellowship!

July 1, 2024
Introducing our Newest State Partners!

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to the newest members of our state partner network: BlaqOut and the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico! 

July 1, 2024
A young man looking up, smilingA young man smiling straight at the camera
Confident young woman standing with crossed arms.

Want To Make A Difference? Support Our Work

With your support, we'll be able to continue our work to build the leaders of today and tomorrow, strengthen state-based LGBTQ+ organizations, and make critical progress on the issues that matter most—like protecting transgender people, ending HIV criminalization and ensuring access to care, and banning conversion therapy across the country.