Jindal's religious liberty executive order criticized

Jindal's religious liberty executive order criticized

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - The governor's executive order aimed at protecting people who value the traditional definition of marriage only affects the way the state acts and won't regulate private businesses.

"All my executive order does is says the state will not discriminate against Christian individuals or others or other faiths that have a traditional view of marriage," said Gov Bobby Jindal. "I think it's the right thing to do, I think it reaffirms our first amendment rights. I think economic liberty and religious liberty are two sides of the same coin. My hope is the Legislature comes back next year and puts this into law."

But the committee that considered a bill similar to the governor's order voted overwhelmingly to table the issue this session.

"Obviously it was a subject matter that the committee, the legislative committee that had the bill, chose not to do. So when the governor did that by executive order, he probably over-stepped his bounds," said Rep. John Bel Edwards, a gubernatorial candidate who voted on the measure.

Opponents feel the governor is only trying to bolster his national resume with the executive order ahead of a possible presidential run.

"I think the governor's action was nothing more than a political stunt. The executive order has no teeth and only applies to state government, and so the intent of the bill and the governor's executive order are two totally different measures, and it simply gives the governor some additional talking points to run for president," said lobbyist Jason Hughes.

Edwards is concerned the governor's actions will alienate businesses eyeing Louisiana.

"It doesn't authorize discrimination, but it basically immunizes discrimination, and that's a real problem, and obviously there are consequences going down the road with tourism and business interests," Edwards said.

Still, Jindal feels the businesses that support gay marriage just don't know what's best for them.

"I think corporate America needs to reexamine their alliances with the radical left. In Indiana and Arkansas, we saw some outrageous rhetoric, they need to remember they're allying themselves with folks who want to regulate, tax them out of existence, folks who don't believe in profit," Jindal said.

The governor's executive action could be rescinded by the next governor.

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