Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is stepping out and taking a chance that he might stir up some controversy for himself. On Tuesday he announced that he was issuing an Executive Order to protect religious liberty in the state of Louisiana. On the heels of several legal attacks on Christian business owners, the conservative Governor chose to preempt any such issue in Louisiana to make it clear that religious liberty trumps a person’s desire to force someone to act against their closely held religious beliefs.
Is Gov. Jindal’s Executive Order legitimate? Keep in mind that in 2004 the voters of Louisiana voted into law Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 1 as an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions.
The referendum was approved by 78% of the voters.
Here’s what Governor Jindal had to say about the Executive Order:
Following the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee’s decision to return the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act to the calendar, Governor Bobby Jindal issued an Executive Order to protect religious liberty and prevent the state from discriminating against those with deeply held religious beliefs.
Governor Jindal said, “In Louisiana, the state should not be able to take adverse action against a person for their belief in traditional marriage.
“That’s why I’m issuing an Executive Order to prevent the state from discriminating against people, charities and family-owned businesses with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.
“We don’t support discrimination in Louisiana and we do support religious liberty. These two values can be upheld at the same time.
“Indeed, we celebrate diversity of belief in Louisiana. Diversity of belief and religious liberty are the foundation of our law and Constitution and they should be protected. As long as I’m Governor, we will fight to protect religious liberty and not apologize for it.”
Representative Mike Johnson said, “I applaud Governor Jindal for this Executive Order. This Executive Order will go a long way to preserve the most fundamental freedom of all Louisianians which is our religious liberty. As was just mentioned a few weeks ago in oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, it is incumbent upon every state to address this important issue as soon as possible. This is a good resolution for our state for now and we intend to bring this legislation again at the earliest opportunity.”