The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana today reiterated its support for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ executive order protecting LGBT Louisianans from discrimination in seeking state employment or services, and condemned Attorney General Jeff Landry for continuing to challenge it in court. The First Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the case tomorrow (August 15).
“We commend Governor Edwards for fighting to root out discrimination and protect the rights of LGBT Louisianans,” said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “No one should be fired, harassed or denied government services because of who they are or who they love. But instead of protecting the people of Louisiana, Attorney General Landry is going out of his way to expose them to harmful discrimination. Landry wants it to be legal to fire a state employee for being LGBT and deny services to people based on their sexual orientation. That’s wrong. Landry should drop this frivolous attempt to legalize discrimination, which wastes taxpayers’ money, threatens our economy, and conflicts with our values.”
Last year, Gov. Edwards issued Executive Order JBE 2016-11, providing nondiscrimination protections for LGBT state employees and contractors and rescinding former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “Religious Freedom” order, which the ACLU of Louisiana had challenged. Gov. Edwards’ order was also the first time Louisiana had explicitly recognized the equal rights of transgender people.
Last year, a state district court sided with Landry and invalidated the order, arguing the governor had exceeded his authority. Gov. Edwards appealed the ruling.