Rep. Austin Badon wants to end discrimination based on sexual orientation

Rep. Austin Badon wants to end discrimination based on sexual orientation

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A New Orleans-based lawmaker plans on introducing a bill to the public Monday that he says would help stop discrimination in Louisiana.

It comes on the heels of Governor Bobby Jindal saying he supports religious freedom legislation, which some think would cause discrimination against same sex couples.

State Representative Austin Badon says the mission is clear. "We want to make sure when people try to go out and get a job or try to secure an apartment or housing, that they're treated equally," he said.

Complaints from his constituents, Badon explains, led to him proposing a change to current law.

"What we're putting forth is a bill that would say you cannot discriminate based upon sexual orientation or sexual choice, age or disability," Badon explained.

The topic of discrimination involving the LGBT community is a hot button issue right now. In the past few months, major corporations and the tourism industry pushed back in several states after religious freedom legislation there was signed. Closer to home, Governor Jindal recently said he supported defending religious liberty and at the Iowa faith and freedom rally, spoke of a bill drafted by a Louisiana lawmaker that would allow a private company to deny the same benefits to same-sex married couples as other married couples, on the basis of a religious objection -- that's if the Supreme Court legalizes same sex marriages.

"We've already got a religious freedom act, we've got legislation this session to protect people of faith and of conscience, who hold a traditional view of marriage, and they might as well save their breath because corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana when it comes to religious liberty," Jindal said.

"When we hear things like that from the Governor we kinda step back and say what is he doing, why is he saying things like this because it hurts Louisiana when he makes these comments," Badon said.

Rep. Badon explains with his bill, he wants to send a message that everyone is welcome in Louisiana, and he's hoping other lawmakers, see it that way too.

Badon has actually submitted bills similar to this one a few times before but it's never passed. He expects it to be introduced to the legislature next week.

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