June July 2016
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The Advocate

Louisiana Gov. to Rescind Predecessor's Antigay Order

Gov. John Bel Edwards
Gov. John Bel Edwards. Photo by Marie Constantin

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will soon rescind an antigay executive order issued by his predecessor, Bobby Jindal, Deadline Hollywood reports.

“As far as Jindal’s religious liberty order, the governor intends to rescind it in the near future,” Edwards’s press secretary, Shauna Sanford, said in response to a Deadline inquiry today in the wake of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's veto of a so-called religious liberty bill that would have allowed discrimination against LGBT people based on religious objections.

Jindal, a Republican who once sought his party’s presidential nomination, last year issued the Marriage and Conscience Order, which bars the state from taking punitive action against an individual, business, or nonprofit group acting in accordance with a “religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” While the order says this should “not be construed to authorize any act of discrimination,” it was designed to protect those with antigay views — for instance, business owners who don’t want to provide goods or services for same-sex couples' weddings.

Jindal issued the order after legislation to this effect failed to pass. His order stands until another governor repeals it, and that is what Edwards, a Democrat who took office in January, intends to do.

Edwards has also announced his intention to issue an executive order protecting state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Some previous Democratic governors had issued such orders, but not Republicans.

Edwards was elected in November over Republican David Vitter, a U.S. senator. Jindal was not eligible to run for governor again due to term limits.

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