WASHINGTON — Today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s efforts to pass one of his top priorities, anti-LGBT HB 707, were dealt a major setback. By a bipartisan vote of 10-2 to “return to calendar without amendments,” the bill was potentially killed for the session. Jindal, who has variously been named the nation’s least popular governor in 2013, 2014, and who hit a new low in another state poll just days ago, now says that he will circumvent the legislature and issue an executive order that would enable discrimination against LGBT residents.
“Bobby Jindal showed today why he’s consistently named one of the nation’s least-popular governors: by ignoring his constituents, members of his own party, and business leaders who correctly understand that legislation that endorses discrimination is wrong and should be rejected,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “Gov. Jindal made it clear that he’s so desperate to advance his longshot presidential campaign that he’ll say or do almost anything, including enable discrimination in the name of religion.”
As the wave of outrage over a similar bill in Indiana revealed, these bills have nothing to do with personal religious practice and everything to do with enshrining discrimination into law. Business leaders today again spoke out against HB 707, just as dozens of major corporations across the country previously called on Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence to “fix” the bill he signed into law or risk dire financial consequences to his state. Similar legislation has been condemned by bipartisan coalitions of elected officials in Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma and several other states.
Notable local business leaders who specifically spoke out today in the committee hearing against HB 707 include Michael Heck, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc; Stephen Perry, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Robert Bray of New Orleans Marriott, who is also President of the Greater Hotel and Lodging Association in New Orleans.
HRC worked with a coalition of advocates across the state including Forum for Equality, Equality Louisiana, and the ACLU of Louisiana to halt destructive anti-LGBT legislation like HB 707.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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