The ACLU of Louisiana applauds Governor Edwards for issuing the Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Order today (Executive Order JBE 2016-11), protecting the rights of LGBT Louisianians from discrimination while seeking state employment or services. This order is the first time Louisiana has explicitly recognized the equal rights of transgender people, and is a strong stand against bigotry.

In terminating former Gov. Jindal’s "Religious Freedom" order (BJ 15-8), Gov. Edwards also recognizes that the state has no place in affording preferential treatment to those who discriminate.

"Louisiana faces enormous challenges," said ACLU Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman. "We need the skills and talents of all of us to solve our complex problems. Gov. Edwards has shown that he welcomes the contributions that everyone can make to state government, without regard to circumstances that have nothing to do with their performance on the job. "

With the order’s requirement that state agencies serve everyone equally, LGBT Louisianians are finally guaranteed equal access to state services and benefits. "Everyone in Louisiana now should be able to enjoy the rights and benefits they deserve," continued Esman. "This will go a long way towards making Louisiana a truly inclusive state that recognizes the value of us all."

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