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: , , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

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…

  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Former Arkansas Baptist professor 'exploring' run for Little Rock Ward 7 city director

    Edmond "Ed" Davis, a former professor at Arkansas Baptist College and the executive director of a school applying for a charter in Southwest Little Rock, will announce the formation of an exploratory committee for a campaign for the Little Rock city director Ward 7 position. Brenda "B.J." Wyrick has held the position since 1994.
    • Apr 3, 2018
  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation