Controversial religious objections bill scheduled for hearing

Controversial religious objections bill scheduled for hearing

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - A controversial bill that thrust Louisiana into a national debate over religious objections laws is scheduled for a hearing.

The religious freedom bill is expected to be heard by the House civil law committee on Tuesday.

The committee will consider House Bill 707 proposed by Rep. Mike Johnson (R) of Bossier City. The bill would prohibit the state from denying individuals, businesses or nonprofits any licenses, benefits, jobs or tax deductions because of actions taken in accordance with religious belief for moral conviction about marriage. The bill is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Johnson says people who oppose same-sex marriage need to be protected if a gay marriage ban is struck down.

However, opponents say it allows for discrimination against gays and lesbians on moral and religious grounds.

Tuesday, a house committee will consider the bill along with two others that pertain to members of the LGBT community. Lawmakers will also discuss legislation filed by Rep. Austin Badon (D) of New Orleans. His bill says you can't discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, age, sex or disability.

"We want to be sure when people try to go out and get a job or try to secure an apartment or housing, that they're treated equally," said Badon.

Tuesday is also LGBT day at the capital. Dozens of gay rights advocates and members of the community are expected in Baton Rouge as the state waits to see what lawmakers decide.

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