Democratic Governor Also Plans Measure Protecting LGBT State Employees
Following GOP Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's decision to veto a horrendous anti-gay "religious freedom" billÂ on Monday, there is more good news for LGBT rights inÂ the Deep South.
On Monday theÂ press secretary forÂ Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he will rescind the sweeping anti-LGBT executive orderÂ signed by his predecessor, former Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal last May. Jindal'sÂ order, whichÂ resulted in a lawsuitÂ from the ACLU,Â allowsÂ businesses and state agencies to turn awayÂ LGBT people based on theirÂ â€œsincerely held religious beliefs.â€
Back in December, after defeating Republican David Vitter in the race to replace Jindal,Â Gov. Edwards had said he also plans to signÂ an executive order extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT government employees and contractors.
A similar anti-LGBT "religious freedom" bill has been introduced in Louisiana this year,Â according to a report fromÂ The AdvocateÂ of Baton Rouge, but even if it passes, Gov. Edwards likely would veto it. Meanwhile,Â AdvocateÂ columnist Stephanie Grace is calling for lawmakers to remove the state's bans on sodomy and same-sex marriage from the books, but she concedesÂ this is also unlikely.
"Frankly, even without the threat of being targeted, many Louisiana lawmakers seem reluctant to step up and take the lead on measures that promote fairness and acceptance toward gay people. It was no accident that opponents killed last yearâ€™s religious freedom bill by basically sidelining it, a maneuver that did not require legislators to take a public no vote," Grace writes. "Iâ€™m guessing the same goes for a proposal to remove the unconstitutional anti-gay measures from the law books. Doing so should be the easiest vote imaginable. That somehow itâ€™s still not says an awful lot how far Louisianaâ€™s government has to go to join the modern, ever-more-tolerant world."