Louisiana governor orders LGBT non-discrimination, a path Hutchinson rejected | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Louisiana governor orders LGBT non-discrimination, a path Hutchinson rejected

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 7:05 AM

click to enlarge SAY IT LOUD: A contrast in Louisiana to Arkansas governor's refusal to provide any non-discrimination protection gay people.
  • SAY IT LOUD: A contrast in Louisiana to Arkansas governor's refusal to provide any non-discrimination protection gay people.

Saying "we respect our fellow citizens," Louisiana's new Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, yesterday issued an executive order mandating nondiscrimination by state government against people based on sexual orientation and gender.

He also revoked an order by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal that gave protection to people who discriminated against LGBT in the name of religion. Edwards' order contains exceptions for religious organizations who contract to provide services. Louisiana also has some local governments that have passed non-discrimination ordinances. There is no state law barring such ordinances.

Edwards didn't say so, but his action comes as North Carolina and Mississippi are experiencing business backlash to new discriminatory laws.

Two business groups — one in New Orleans and one in Shreveport — expressed support for Edwards' issuing the LGBT protection. "This action will help to solidify Louisiana's current reputation as a welcoming place for business and talent," said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., one of the largest business groups in the city.
 So far,  Arkansas has flown under the radar of those expressing disagreement with discriminatory state law by canceling business expansions, canceling travel and other measures.

Arkansas law varies little except in specifics. The legislature passed — and Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed — a broad discrimination bill that gives broad protection for discrimination against LGBT people by any who claim a religious basis for discriminatory actions. Hutchinson declined to stand in the way of a law preventing local non-discrimination ordinances — a law that has not successfully staunched local efforts.

Significantly, Gov. Hutchinson also talked about, but ultimately decided against, issuing a nondiscrimination policy for state government. It remains perfectly legal to discriminate against LGBT state employees and to do business with those who openly discriminate.

Hutchinson said last year he saw no "urgent" need for a state nondiscrimination policy. Perhaps an awareness by major businesses that Arkansas law is every bit as discriminatory as those in other Southern states and that the governor to date has taken no steps to mitigate those laws might produce more urgency for action.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017


Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation