Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday issued an executive order barring discrimination against people or others “with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
Jindal, who the previous day announced an exploratory committee for a possible 2016 presidential bid, acted after a state legislative committee effectively killed legislation that would have done the same. Critics contended the measure opens the door for discrimination against gays.
“In Louisiana, the state should not be able to take adverse action against a person for their belief in traditional marriage,” said Jindal, a Republican. “That’s why I’m issuing an Executive Order to prevent the state from discriminating against people, charities and family-owned businesses with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, criticized Jindal’s action.
"It's a sinful attempt to deflect from the failures of what should be the top legislative priority, what we're dealing with every day, which is a bogus state budget," she said.
The Times-Picayune reported that bill was aimed at blocking the government from “pulling licenses, tax benefits, and the like from a company because of the owner's view of same-sex marriage. But LGBT advocates and a few legal experts have said it would also allow businesses of any size to refuse to recognize and sanction discrimination against married same-sex couples, should same-sex marriage become legal in Louisiana.”