Louisiana governor signs executive order to protect LGBT rights

Louisiana governor signs executive order to protect LGBT rights
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order Wednesday to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state employees and state-contracted employees from being discriminated against in the workplace.

The Democrat's action, which also prohibits state agencies from discriminating against LGBT people, rescinds the executive order former Gov. Bobby Jindal issued last year allowing businesses and government agencies to refuse to serve gay couples. Jindal, a Republican, made an unsuccessful run for the White House last year.

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“The previous administration’s executive I am rescinding was meant to serve a narrow political agenda," Edwards said in a statement. “It does nothing but divide our state and forced the business community, from Louisiana’s smallest businesses to large corporations, like IBM, to strongly oppose it.

"This executive order threatens Louisiana’s business growth, and it goes against everything we stand for — unity, acceptance, and opportunity for all.”

Edwards said his executive order does not conflict with the religious liberty protections the state passed in 2010.

Businesses like Moonbot Studios that argued Jindal’s order was not only unnecessary, but also bad for business, tourism, and the Louisiana economy, praised Edwards for his action Wednesday.

“This is a step in the right direction and supports Moonbot’s mission to recruit the best talent in the country — no matter the candidate’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” the company’s CEO, Lampton Enochs, said in a statement.