A tale of two governors: LA vs VA with LGBTQ protections on the line
Last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order some say would allow for the discrimination of LGBTQ persons immediately after the state’s GOP lead House killed a similar bill.
It’s also nearly opposite legislation to what VA’s Governor signed into law the first day he entered office.
The “Marriage and Conscience Act,” was created to prohibit the state of Louisiana from denying individuals, businesses and nonprofits any licenses, benefits, jobs or tax deductions because of action taken “in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction” about marriage.”
Opponents of such “conscious clause,” or religious liberty, laws say they would allow persons and organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ persons in services.
The Louisiana House killed the bill, 10-2 with most saying that the bill is both bad for business as well as socially. The bill is similar to one brought by VA Delegate Bob Marshall earlier this year which was similarly hilled in a House committee.
It appears Governor Jindal, who is reportedly looking to join the ever expanding pool of politicians preparing for the Republican nomination for president, has learned nothing for Indiana’s mistake.
Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act similarly prohibited state laws that do not allow a person, corporation, organization, or business from following its religious beliefs. Although more vague than Louisiana’s proposed bill, the act set off a national firestorm in late March and early April.
In response to Indiana’s bill many corporations threatened to hold expansion and pull business from the state. As IBM looks to create about 700 new jobs in Louisiana, the company sent the Governor a letter asking him not to support the bill, before it was tabled by the House.
Jindal responded in a New York Times Op-Ed piece saying “I have a clear message for any corporations that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath.”
Although Jindal’s executive order does not have much power, it sends a personal message against the civil rights of LGBTQ persons, saying they are not valued by the current Governor of Louisiana. He has accepted this stance, while Indiana is still trying to backtrack in the wake of the controversy surrounding its law.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence had to demand that the law be revised so that it could not be used to promote discrimination, but some say that the revisions are not enough.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has been unabashed in his support for LGBTQ Virginians. On his first day in office, McAuliffe issued executive order 1 which prohibited “discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in Virginia state government.”
It seems the two governors are at odds in message, we’ll have to see what history thinks in the coming years.
“People truly came out and celebrated who and what they are. It was amazing.”September 26, 2016
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