Jindal to issue 'religious freedom' executive order
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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will issue an executive order on religious freedom, he said in a statement just hours after a similar bill died in the state legislature Tuesday.
 
The order is meant to protect residents from “discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs” against same-sex marriage.
 
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“We are disappointed by the committee's action to return the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act to the calendar,” Jindal said in a statement first reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
 
"This Executive Order will prohibit the state from denying or revoking a tax exemption, tax deduction, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, professional license, certification, accreditation, or employment on the basis the person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman."
 
Jindal’s decision comes just months after governors in Indiana and Arkansas backed down amid criticism that similar legislation would effectively sanction discrimination against gays and lesbians and could lead to businesses denying them services. 
 
Governors in both states walked back their support of the laws and called for fixes that protected people from discrimination.
 
Equality Louisiana and Louisiana Progress Action, groups that support LGBT rights, bashed Jindal in a joint statement for “abusing his executive power” and needled him for his recent trips to Iowa as he considers a bid for president.
 
“In his time in Iowa, he may have forgotten what everyday Louisianians value, but the testimony today against HB 707 should have reminded him. Discrimination is not a Louisiana value,” the statement said. 
 
"Gov. Jindal is clearly trying to leave the biggest mess possible, as he readies himself to spend even less time in Louisiana and to launch his presidential campaign. In the end, his extreme ideology is only making the state a worse place for those of us who actually plan to live here past his last day in office."
 
Jindal launched a presidential exploratory committee Monday and has said that he will decide whether to seek the nomination in June.