Bobby Jindal Has a Message for Businesses Concerned With Louisiana's Anti-gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill: 'Save Your Breath'
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is taking the hard-line stance on LGBT rights in a NYT op-ed on why he's holding firm against gay marriage and will continue to push for a bill in his state that will allow individuals and businesses to discriminate on religious grounds.
In 2010, Louisiana adopted a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits government from unduly burdening a person’s exercise of religion. However, given the changing positions of politicians, judges and the public in favor of same-sex marriage, along with the potential for discrimination against Christian individuals and businesses that comes with these shifts, I plan in this legislative session to fight for passage of the Marriage and Conscience Act.
The legislation would prohibit the state from denying a person, company or nonprofit group a license, accreditation, employment or contract — or taking other “adverse action” — based on the person or entity’s religious views on the institution of marriage. [...]
If we, as conservatives, are to succeed in advancing the cause of freedom and free enterprise, the business community must stand shoulder to shoulder with those fighting for religious liberty. The left-wing ideologues who oppose religious freedom are the same ones who seek to tax and regulate businesses out of existence. The same people who think that profit making is vulgar believe that religiosity is folly. The fight against this misguided, government-dictating ideology is one fight, not two. Conservative leaders cannot sit idly by and allow large corporations to rip our coalition in half.
In Jindal's State of the State address earlier this month, he declared that enacting an Indiana-style "license to discriminate" bill was one of his top three legislative priorities. IBM has already spoken out against the bill, warning Jindal that the company "will find it much harder to attract talent to Louisiana if this bill is passed and enacted into law," and that the legislation "is antithetical to our company's values."
“It’s disappointing that Gov. Bobby Jindal is supporting this bill which permits discrimination in the name of religion,” adds SarahJane Brady, executive director of the Forum for Equality. “This bill permits discrimination against interfaith couple and interracial couples, not just the gay and transgender community. The truth is this bill is not about religious freedom — we all have that guaranteed by the federal and state constitutions. The bill just gives a license to discriminate in Louisiana.”