Louisiana’s new governor signs order outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination

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Louisiana’s new Governor has rescinded his predecessor’s anti-gay laws and issued an Executive Order outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination.

The previous Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal was one of the most notoriously anti-LGBT Governors in the US – having issued orders to protect the ‘religious freedom’ to discriminate against gay people, and pledged to block same-sex weddings.

But Jindal’s chosen successor was ousted in last year’s election by Democrat John Bel Edwards – and Governor Edwards has wasted no time in bringing around change.

Just months into office, Governor Edwards has today issued an executive order to protect LGBT people who are state employees and government contractors from discrimination and harassment.

It comes as neighbouring Mississippi and nearby Tennessee both face criticism over anti-LGBT legislation.

Governor Edwards said: “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.

“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 respectful and inclusive of everyone around us.”

The Governor also acted to overturn Jindal’s previous orders which had blocked anti-discrimination protections.

He added: “The previous administration’s executive order I am rescinding was meant to serve a narrow political agenda.

“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.”