Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Louisiana Lawmaker Introduces 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Louisiana Lawmaker Introduces 'Religious Freedom' Bill

A Republican member of Louisiana's legislature has filed a "religious freedom" bill that would allow business owners to discriminate against gays and lesbians if they object to marriage equality on "moral" grounds, LGBTQNation reports.

The bill, known as HB 707, will be considered when the Louisiana legislative session begins April 13. The proposal from Rep. Mike Johnson, who represents parts of northwest Louisiana, would shield businesses from penalties if they turned away LGBT people.

Unsurprisingly, Equality Louisiana blasted HB 707. “While the bill clearly is targeting gay and transgender people by focusing on religious beliefs about marriage, it is also creating the possibility of unintended consequences,” the organization said in a statement. “HB 707 aims to make actions legal — such as denying the same sex spouse of an employee access to life-saving benefits such as health insurance. It may, however, also open the door to the possibility of denying those same benefits to couples in which one partner has been divorced, interracial couples and married couples from different religious traditions than their employers.”

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