BREAKING: Louisiana Governor Signs Executive Order Protecting LGBT State Employees From Discrimination, Rescinds Jindal’s Order Legalizing Anti-LGBT Bias

Via press release:

Today, Governor John Bel Edwards signed an executive order providing employment protections for state employees and employees of state contractors on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age. This executive order also prohibits discrimination in services provided by state agencies, and recognizes an exemption for churches and religious organizations.

Similar executive orders were signed by former Governors Edwin Edwards and Kathleen Blanco and are in place around the country. There is currently no state law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) Louisianans from employment discrimination.

“We are fortunate enough to live in a state that is rich with diversity, and we are built on a foundation of unity and fairness for all of our citizens,” said Gov. Edwards. “We respect our fellow citizens for their beliefs, but we do not discriminate based on our disagreements. I believe in giving every Louisianan the opportunity to be successful and to thrive in our state. Our goal is to promote the opportunities we have right here in Louisiana. While this executive order respects the religious beliefs of our people, it also signals to the rest of the country that discrimination is not a Louisiana value, but rather, that Louisiana is a state that is respective and inclusive of everyone around us.”

Gov. Edwards stood with the business community and LGBT citizens in opposition to former Governor Bobby Jindal’s executive order extending provisions included in Mike Johnson’s Marriage and Conscience Act rejected by the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure during last year’s regular legislative session. Many in the legislature and the business community felt Governor Jindal’s executive order was not only unnecessary, but bad for business, tourism, and the Louisiana economy.

“The previous administration’s executive I am rescinding was meant to serve a narrow political agenda, “said Gov. Edwards. “It does nothing but divide our state and forced the business community, from Louisiana’s smallest businesses to large corporations, like IBM, to strongly oppose it. This executive order threatens Louisiana’s business growth, and it goes against everything we stand for– unity, acceptance, and opportunity for all.”

Jindal’s order came in May 2015 after having been rejected by the state legislature that very same day.

  • another_steve

    “This executive order also prohibits discrimination in services provided by state agencies, and recognizes an exemption for churches and religious organizations.”


    An exemption for the religious. Permission to discriminate.

    Zeus weeps.

    • TampaZeke

      The religious exemption for CHURCHES and religious organizations always applies no matter what state or jurisdiction you’re talking about. That’s a constitutionally protected “right” repeatedly upheld by SCOTUS. He’s not putting any restriction on his order that isn’t already required.

      What we’re fighting is private citizens and religious organizations, that are publicly funded, having the right to discriminate based upon religious beliefs.

      • Bruno

        Ehm, not really. He’s talking about exemptions for state contractors that are also religious organizations. That would be most recognizable as a church that provides adoption services being allowed to not adopt out children to gay couples. It could also mean a church-run hospital that has some contract with the state could continue to turn away LGBT patients if they wanted. Stuff like that.

        • Menergy

          I hope so!

        • TampaZeke

          Those exemptions would certainly be challengeable but a general exemption for churches is automatic.

          • Bruno

            It is automatic, yes, in regards to their internal operations. The 1st Amendment would preclude a state government , for example, from forcing a church that happens to be contracted with the state to perform a marriage for a gay couple. But this exemption in the executive order goes further than that and specifically rubber-stamps discrimination in the public accommodations sphere.

          • TampaZeke

            I think he’s trying to do as much as he can in an extremely right wing state with an overwhelmingly Republican legislature.

          • Bruno

            Surely he’s trying to appease that side with that part of it. To be honest, I’d be more concerned if this were a bill passed and codified into law than I am with it being an executive order. While we don’t like executive orders because they can be rescinded by an inimical governor (or president) at a later date, the advantage is that they can be easily changed in our favor, too. Nothing gets worse in the state with this action (it had already been legal for religious organizations to discriminate anyway), and it can be easily improved.

          • TampaZeke


          • TampaZeke

            Still, it’s a good move in the right (left) direction.

            I just wonder how many days it will take for the LA legislature to rush through a bill squashing it.

      • another_steve

        Yeah, true, but it’s sad…don’t ya think?

        That anyone doing business in the marketplace should have a government license to discriminate?

        • TampaZeke

          Oh, hell yeah. It sucks. Especially when they take public funding, which I think violates the establishment clause of the first amendment.

      • BobSF_94117

        You’re right that religious organizations already have some protections, but the governor has gone much further than that.

        • TampaZeke

          I agree. But this is Louisiana. He’s doing as much as he thinks he can get away with. Even still, I fully expect the Republican dominated legislature to try to nullify it at their earliest opportunity.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Good start, but that was the easy part. The real challenge will be digging the state out of the gaping financial hole that Jindal put it in.

  • Necessitas

    It’s a baby step, but still a step. However, the rights of those who govern should not exceed the rights of those they govern — that’s a real problem, it’s not supposed to work that way.

    • SunnyDay

      ^ THIS

      While I’m glad this step was made, it still offers absolutely no protection for all the residents not employed by the state. Federal and State employees are not the whole of those needing protection and until this is addressed, these measures are like putting a bandaid on an amputation and expecting it to be enough.

      • clay

        It says something that we’re more willing to protect our workers than our citizens– see medical insurance, as well.

    • TampaZeke

      I think this might be a baby step in other parts of the country, but for Louisiana, this is a giant step.

  • hiker_sf

    FYI, he’s a Democrat.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Almost didn’t need to be said. But there have been a few -very few- supportive Republicans and a few bigot blue dog Dems. But less and less of those all the time.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    “Bobby. Bobby Baby….”

  • Yay!! I voted for him 😀
    (but really, I couldn’t vote for Vitter.)
    Oh, and Jindal, 🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Hi Ed, and thx for your post! Always great to have inside info from actual residents.

      What’s the story with the Louisiana Legislature? Has the State been carved up and gerrymandered to ensure Republican control? Any chance for a comprehensive State anti-discrimination bill?

      Do you know if New Orleans (or other cities) has a municipal or parish-wide anti-discrimination law?

      • Steve Teeter

        New Orleans has one, I’m pretty sure. Don’t know about other cities.

    • Gene

      Ed, WHY do you hate the people who make diapers? SHAME on you!

  • bkmn

    More proof that every election matters. Vote Blue, no matter who.

    • TampaZeke

      Hear hear! I never miss an election or a primary. If there’s a vote for dog catcher, I’m there!

      • djcoastermark

        Same here. Never missed an election since the day I turned 18. And proud of it!

        • BRAVO!!

        • i’ve missed one since 18, but illness is my excuse for that one.

          i’m actually sort of glad sometimes, and i know this is wrong, for the fact that so many do not vote in primaries. your individual vote has so much more power as a result.

          • Marilyn Boggs

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      • Gene

        But, but…I heard all the parties are the same TampaZeke

        (Vote the D…the worst democrat is better than the best Rethuglican..and even when there IS a decent republican, he will have to caucus with his fellows, and that just ads to their power..Vote D, every time!)

        • There is only one good “Republican” and that is Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. I put republican in quotes due to the GOP party turning their back on her for their darling teabag boy. She no longer toes the party line and votes her conscience, its delicious that the party has no power over her.

          • Guest

            Nope. If she’s so good, why does she cower in front of McTurtle like the rest, and says unequivocally that she will not meet with the Supreme Court nominee? Such a profile in courage, that Lisa….

          • TrollopeReader

            Susan Collins of Maine is pretty good in the Senate. She actually is on McConnell’s shit list.

          • fuzzybits

            That’s a badge of honor.

          • jonfromcalifornia

            Didn’t she join her fellow Repubs in toeing the “no confirmation hearings for Garland” line?

          • Sadly, yes.

          • ColdCountry

            Nope. “U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, broke ranks with Republican leaders on
            Monday, telling CNN that President Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy on
            the U.S. Supreme Court should be given a hearing.”

        • WNY

          Don’t make him hijack this thread!

        • TampaZeke


        • Jonty Coppersmith

          That is usually my motto too: Vote D everytime. I will be breaking my policy this November for the first time. My NC state representative who is a Democrat voted FOR Hate Bill 2. I will not be voting for him under any circumstance.

    • nokkonwud

      I’ve only missed one election since I turned 18 and that was when Reagan became President. Not saying that was my fault, but I haven’t missed an election since.

    • Kara Connor

      Particularly because of the SCOTUS vacancy. The US could be set back 50 years if the whole country turns into North Carolina.

    • Just Sayin’

      But elections don’t matter since the great slot machine player who doesn’t vote says so OR better know as

      • DonnaLee

        When it’s clearly a Democrat who does better in an office than the predecessor, somehow he will be nowhere to be found.

  • TheSpinMonkey

    Jindal is turning in his grave

    • He died and I missed it?

      • Bad Tom

        Political grave.

        • Fuck. You had my hopes up. Lol

          • Doug105

            Damn teases.

        • Necessitas


        • TheSpinMonkey

          yes, he was cremated politically

        • Phillip in L.A.

          In other news, Antonin Scalia is still dead, dead, dead

          • BobSF_94117

            But reportedly getting along famously with Francisco Franco.

            No surprise there…

      • Ben in Oakland

        he was always pretty dead.

      • Blake Jordan

        Unfortunately not…

      • I was going to post the same thing!

      • the grave of his presidential aspirations, that is.

  • Robincho

    Burying the odious Piyush, even if armed only with a tablespoon, is a noble undertaking. And with bels on, no less…

    • Circ09

      Wonderfully put.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      The Gov is bel of the ball for today’s news cycle

      • Robincho

        “Un bel dì vedremo…” — Madame Butterfly

  • TampaZeke


    Democrats need to vote EVERY chance they get.

  • Paula

    A Democrat…. How unsurprising. Way to go, Gov!

    • Chucktech

      And, ostensibly, a DINO. Everyone was rolling their eyes when he won the election saying his Democratic bona fides were non existent and even if David Vitter had won there’d have been little difference. David Vitter would never have done this.

      • bkmn

        He is not as much of a Blue Dog as some would have us believe. And once again a Democrat is stuck cleaning up the mess created by 8 years of GOP non-governance and thievery.

        • Bruno

          And after he’s done, the Dog-fearing crazies of Looziana will kick him to the curb and put in another dimwitted demagogue to ruin the state all over again.

          • Ninja0980

            Yup..they never learn.



  • boatboy_srq

    1) BRAVO.

    2) This is proof that any executive action – either way – is only as durable as the tenure of the executive taking the action. Bel Edwards’ action is welcome, but still easily revoked if another Teahadi becomes governor.

    • SFBruce

      Agreed. Sadly, since it’s Louisiana, chances are good it won’t be long before a Republican is back in the governor’s seat.

      • WhoDat (RIP Will Smith)

        I, for one, will work to make sure that never happens again.

      • Homo Erectus

        Meanwhile, Tony is shitting his pants!

        • TrollopeReader

          He can borrow some Depends from his pal Vitters …

  • avidreader

    I’ve always thought that putting religion in front of sex and sexual orientation in documents like these is a perfect indicator of where we stand in a society. And they probably enjoy showing us our place even when they’re supposedly “protecting” us.

    It belongs in the very end of the sentence, together with political affiliation. The only two things that are chosen.

    • We are being “protected” the same way as we “protected” the blacks by shipping them to the States and enslaving them.

  • Menergy

    Please define “religious” organizations and religious organizations, Governor. No church/pastor/priest has ever been forced to perform religious ceremonies against their churches’ rules or practices. Federal civil rights protections already allow hiring discrimination within religious organizations to follow those churches/organizations religious restrictions or qualifying characteristics in hiring and serving practices – but not in the public domain. Please add some subparagraphs defining “religious organizations” so that lay bakers and florists and restaurant owners and just plain businesses/landlords/public service providers, etc. cannot claim to be “religious organizations” and continue to behave in discriminatory ways to exclude citizens nor refuse to provide their services (even medical care and hospitalization and access by citizens due equality under the laws and courts of the United States

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Hobby Lobby. Unfortunately, SCOTUS did that for him.

      • Menergy

        I know, exactly!

  • More Goddamn executive orders.

    How about laws. Proposals. Actions by legislatures doing jobs. People working.

    Why is that so fucking hard everywhere? Yes, I know, this is a step in the right-direction, but not only is not complete… it’s also tentative at best by its very form.

    • coram nobis

      Of course, but there’s just one obstacle: GOP majorities in state legislatures, or at least enough of a bloc to block legislation.

    • the courts and executive orders will be the way to get the progress you want, and the only way, so long as the xtians who hate us are alive. but a lot of them are old. so be patient.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Democrats vs Republicans.
    Progress vs Regress.

    • GC


  • Phillip in L.A.

    How bout the Louisiana Legislature passes a bill protecting us from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, etc.?

    Not to belittle the Governor’s actions–they are better than nothing, although not by much

    • Agreed. In these troubling times, however, it is indeed a positive step.

    • pragDem

      how about we pass enda in congress?

  • 1Truth1

    So this only gives government employees protections? What about the rest of the citizens? More BS from the south.

    • Bruno

      It is, obviously, but it’s all the governor has power to do with an executive order. There are no states in the south, including Florida and Virginia, which have statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBT.

    • johncAtl

      This particular issue is far more widespread than the South. The maps at Lambda Legal show status by state for workplace and public accomodations.

    • pragDem

      Um, you might want to learn about ENDA.

      • 1Truth1

        Yes, but I’m talking about protections at a state level.

  • And again with the stupid fucking religious exemptions. This new executive order means little to nothing, if it allows religious folks to discriminate against us.

    • If you’re a religious institution providing state services using state funding, it’s so galling for them to openly and callously discriminate against people. I’m sadly not surprised, though. I just hope we don’t see more cases of things like pregnant mothers being forced to delivery already deceased fetuses due to religious hospital dogmas and other horrors.

    • Capritaur

      It’s not little to nothing. The executive order only applies to state agencies and state contractors (which can be overreaching), and the religious exemption only applies to churches and religious organizations, not in the sense of simply religious conviction. How often are churches and religious organizations state contractors?

      • TexasBoy

        How often are churches and religious organizations state contractors? The only thing I can think of where a church or religious organization is a state contractor would be in some adoption cases or perhaps as contracted grief counselors or red cross in the event of a disaster.

    • TexasBoy

      I wouldn’t worry about this exemption for churches and religious organizations. The SCOTUS already ruled it is legal for them to discriminate as they see fit during the Boy Scouts thing. So even if the exemption wasn’t specifically in the executive order, it would, by default, still be there.

      • Well damn. We need to figure out how to get that cut out.

        • TexasBoy

          You won’t…it’s called the First Amendmend to the Constitution of the US.

          • The first amendment doesn’t give free reign to use religion to discriminate, and thats what these RFRA laws do.

    • Steven Leahy

      You noticed that little caveat too, right?

  • Cuberly

    I remember the rageful rants Jindal went on when the legislature didn’t give him his hate bill.

    Edwards has a huge task ahead of him. Undoing the Jindal damage.

  • “We are fortunate enough to live in a state that is rich with diversity, and we are built on a foundation of unity and fairness for all of our citizens”.

    It makes me sad that saying the above statement is considered a political act. It should be as simple as understanding that the sky is blue. Then again, there are issue after issue where something like 80% of the nation swings one way but the 20% right-wing extreme gets what they want. Government shut-downs wasting huge amounts of money? Blocking cameras on police vehicles and on officers themselves? Reform of for-profit prison administration? Sheesh!

  • Octavio

    So, if he loses the next election to a Republican with jesus on his shoulder all of Governor Edwards executive orders — including this one — can be overturned just as easily, right? Nice sentiment, but no cigar. Thanks, but tax the churches.

  • Robert Rhea

    This is why we cannot depend on Executive Orders – at the state or federal level – for protection of our equal rights. They are subject to the whims of whomever sits in the chair.

  • RJ Bone

    Executive orders aren’t enough. I appreciate them for the state employees and contractors, but what about the other hundreds of thousands affected? It’s like a small bandage on a bifurcated body.

  • Ninja0980

    Both parties are the same though right folks?

    • Steven Leahy

      I’m glad he did it, but his timing seems a bit opportunistic.

      • Roy Biv

        When every Southerner around him is saying YES to discrimination, saying NO is as powerful as it can get.

        • Steven Leahy

          I am referring to the democratic establishment and the stuff his peers are going through. He could have issued this two months ago, but didn’t seem to cross his mind then.

          • pragDem

            who cares if it’s done for political reasons? he’s a politician and that’s what they do. what matters is that it was done.

    • Homo Erectus


  • rabbit_ears

    So for the next few decades they do the legal hokey-pokey.

    • Steven Leahy

      We need to take the house and senate back. Without that, I am afraid you’re right. Another decade of cat and mouse bullshit.

  • TheManicMechanic

    Another step in the right direction. Keep ’em coming.

  • Brett Cajun

    This is fantastic news! I am so proud of our Governor of Louisiana. People down here were fed up with the former governor Bobby Jindal and senator David Vitter ruining our state’s reputation as they whipped up hate from their christian hate supporters. They ran around with their loonie supporters convinced that they were all going to be forced to bake a cake for a gay person even though they didn’t own a bakery. LOL. It’s a new tide turning and I am happy we have righted the ship. 🙂

  • JT

    Kudos for Edwards.

    Now, if the poor guy could only get the odor of Jindal off the furniture.

  • Mike__in_Houston

    Ah, good old Piyush. Now THAT’S a name I will be happy to never have to hear again…

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Bye bye Jindal!

  • Card

    This is progress, but there’s still that pesky “recognizes an exemption for churches and religious organizations” line in there.

    • billbear1961

      AND the fact there’s no state law forbidding discrimination in housing and employment for ALL LGBTs.

  • RainbowPhoenix

    What, no one’s going to try to claim that Democrats and Republicans are the same?

  • Queequeg

    The people of Louisiana deserve a good governor after suffering under the hatefulness of Pyuish for so long. I guess the voters finally saw the light. Wonder if that will ever happen in Mississippi or North Carolina.

  • billbear1961

    Even the legislature in Louisiana has the brains to reject new hate laws!

    Thank you for taking this step forward and rejecting Jindal’s rank bigotry, Governor.

  • Seems like he’s right on track. Now, about that creationism bullshit.

  • JCF
  • Marilyn Boggs

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    • Homo Erectus

      flagged, reported.