A profile in leadership: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 22, 2015

A profile in leadership: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 1:20 PM

click to enlarge READ THIS, GOVERNOR: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrie signs executive order.
  • READ THIS, GOVERNOR: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrie signs executive order.

Given Arkansas's sorry record on defense of equality, I thought I'd share leadership of a decidedly different stripe in a state that long ago went heavily Republican.

I speak of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. In Louisiana, the legislature did heed the cries against discrimination as a disincentive to tourism and business development and defeated a religious freedom bill of the sort approved by the Arkansas legislature and Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal, a would-be presidential candidate, took that as an occasion to issue an executive order protecting discrimination against gay people. And he ran ads about it in Iowa while his home state stumbles through a budget disaster that includes potential bankruptcy of the once-great LSU.

Enter Landrieu.  He issued an executive order that declared New Orleans  "is an accepting, inviting city that thrives on its diversity and welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms." The order is meant as a direct response to Jindal.

It's worth reading the entire thing. Note how much farther New Orleans has gone than Little Rock in standing up for diversity. It has an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on account of sexual orientation or gender identity. Landrieu is a Democrat and popular in New Orleans. Easy to see why.

Read on:


WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans is proud to be a culturally rich community of faith, inclusion, tolerance, and diversity;

WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans is proud to foster an environment for its residents, visitors, and businesses that is welcoming, just and inclusive;

WHEREAS, the free exercise of religion in the City of New Orleans, including religious beliefs relating to marriage, is both a constitutionally protected right, and a matter of paramount importance to the fabric of New Orleans;

WHEREAS, the freedom against discrimination on any basis is a matter of equal paramount importance to the fabric of New Orleans;

WHEREAS, in 2010 Louisiana enacted the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act which prohibits governmental burden of a person’s exercise of religion;

WHEREAS, New Orleans City Code Chapter 86 currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and any public accommodation based on race, creed, national origin or ancestry, color, religion, gender or sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital status, age, physical condition or disability;

WHEREAS, to the extent permitted by law, contracts entered into by the City of New Orleans contain a requirement that City contractors, consultants or partners will not, in the performance of the contract, discriminate or retaliate, in fact or in perception, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, culture, ancestral history, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or domestic partner status, physical or mental disability, or AIDS- or HIV-status;

WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans appropriately balances religious beliefs of all kinds with civil liberties, including freedom from discrimination.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MITCHELL J. LANDRIEU, BY THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME as Mayor of the City of New Orleans by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana and the Home Rule Charter and laws of the City of New Orleans, HEREBY ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

Purpose: The purpose of this Executive Order is to confirm for the residents of the City of New Orleans, its businesses and visitors that religious beliefs are protected from unjustified governmental burden, but that there is no tolerance in the City of New Orleans for discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin or ancestry, color, religion, gender or sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital or domestic partner status, age, physical condition or disability.

All departments, commissions, boards, agencies of the City are authorized and directed to take cognizance of and comply with this Executive Order and the anti-discrimination laws of the City of New Orleans.

Effective Date: This Executive Order is effective upon the date of its issuance.

Signed,
Mitchell J. Landrieu
May 21, 2015

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