Louisiana Governor Lifts ‘Faith-Based’ Bias Ban

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to renew an expiring executive order that protects against “faith-based” hiring discrimination.

An executive order issued by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco added “sexual orientation” to a list of protected areas under anti-discrimination laws. Her order also “banned discrimination in providing government services, in dealing with government employees and in government dealings with private companies. It also require[d] businesses contracting with the state to profess non-discrimination,” according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Jindal, a staunch ally of the Religious Right, allowed the executive order to lapse in August because it prevented faith-based groups that discriminate in hiring from receiving money from the state. He also said it was not “necessary to create additional categories of special rights.”

Religious Right activists previously expressed concerns to Jindal about the Blanco executive order and were ecstatic over his decision to let it expire.

“These types of laws are simply an attempt to silence and penalize the religious convictions of employers,” said Ashley Horne, a federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action.

But for gay and lesbian state employees, his decision takes away “predictability and safety,” Randy Evans of the Forum for Equality, told The Advocate.

“He should represent all the people of the state not just the people he chooses to support,” said Louisiana State Rep. Juan LaFonta (D-New Orleans).