Louisiana Governor wants tougher ‘Religious Freedom’ bill

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Governor Bobby Jindal wants to push ahead with a bill specifying discrimination for same-sex marriage.

His bill, like those being fought over in Indiana, Arkansas and other states, would “protect” businesses from having to serve customers if it had a religious objection against them. Unlike the other states, however, Governor Jindal’s bill specifies beliefs about marriage in its wording.

Speaking at his State of the State address this week, Governor Jindal said: “Let me be crystal clear – I absolutely intend to fight for the passage of this legislation, and any other that seeks to preserve our most fundamental freedoms.”

If the legislation passes, it would allow anyone to discriminate against and refuse to serve people who believed in same-sex marriage. It would also mean businesses would not have to provide equal benefits to employees in same-sex marriages as they would for opposite-sex marriages.

Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow  said in a statement: “This bill is worse than any Religious Freedom Restoration Act in that it explicitly allows discrimination based on an individual’s religious beliefs about marriage.

“Nobody gets to go into court for a balancing test, there’s no interpretation by a state judicial system. It flat out gives individuals a right to discriminate, period.”

Former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken out against his fellow Republicans who support religious freedom bills.

Businesses across the United States have similarly expressed their disappointment with such bills, arguing they will hurt business in the areas where are in effect