State seal of Louisiana. The Democratic governor broke with the Republican South to sign an order protecting LGBT rights.

Louisiana governor signs order protecting LGBT rights, calls it 'good for business'

State seal of Louisiana. The Democratic governor broke with the Republican South to sign an order protecting LGBT rights.

State seal of Louisiana. The Democratic governor broke with the Republican South to sign an order protecting LGBT rights.

(Reuters) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an anti-discrimination order on Wednesday protecting the rights of gay and transgender people, aligning his state on the liberal side of a political divide playing out across the U.S. South.

The Democrat's executive order also protects state employees against discrimination based on other criteria including race, religion, disability or age. It bans state agencies from discrimination, while offering an exemption for churches and religious organizations.

Edwards followed two previous Democratic Louisiana governors, Edwin Edwards and Kathleen Blanco, in signing such an order as there is no state law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people from employment discrimination, the governor's office said in a statement.

"This order is the first time Louisiana has explicitly recognized the equal rights of transgender people, and is a strong stand against bigotry," the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana said in a statement.

Edwards' order rescinded one signed by his immediate predecessor, Bobby Jindal, a Republican and former 2016 presidential contender, that was part of a movement in some states that seeks to limit same-sex marriage rights in the name of religious freedom and the ability of transgender people to choose which public restrooms they may use.

Edwards said his order was good for business.

"The previous administration's executive (order) I am rescinding was meant to serve a narrow political agenda," he said. "It does nothing but divide our state and force the business community, from Louisiana's smallest businesses to large corporations like IBM, to strongly oppose it."

A number of measures have pitted equality rights against religious freedoms in state legislatures across the South and other regions.

Laws curtailing LGBT rights have faced criticism from corporate, entertainment and sports leaders, especially a North Carolina law that bars transgender people from using public bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificates.

Deutsche Bank and PayPal Holdings have frozen or canceled job-creating investments in North Carolina. Rockers Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr canceled concerts there.

Legislators in Oklahoma and South Carolina recently introduced bills curtailing transgender bathroom rights, and Mississippi now allows businesses to deny wedding services to same-sex couples.

Similar transgender bills are pending in Kentucky and Tennessee plus Midwestern states Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri, the ACLU said. It added that 17 states banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


  1. Just how could attacking LGBT Americans be “good for business”? How does denying LGBT Americans services, even emergency room services at hospitals in some of these Hate States, help even anti-gays? Obviously, if you prevent a group of Americans from supporting themselves, those Americans can’t pay taxes and benefit their communities. However, when more Americans have access to good jobs and safe housing, everyone benefits.

    Fortunately, most Americans get it:

    “As states across the country prepare for legislative battles around LGBT nondiscrimination and religious exemption laws, a new report released today finds that seven in ten (71 percent) Americans—including majorities in all 50 states and 30 major metropolitan areas— support laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination in jobs, housing, and public accommodations.

  2. On thing I’ve found is the right-wing whines when they pass laws which damage their brand (i.e., the desirability of their region, town, state, etc.) and they then receive blowback. It’s like they are completely clueless about what causes the blowback. It reminds me of a short story by Henry James which was in our literature textbook in high school. It concerns a married couple from the English titled upper class in the late 1800s with few assets left, who, as to have obtained real jobs to subsist would have thereby admitted their own poor and penniless state, scraped by on what an artist paid them to serve as his models. Then the artist told them he no longer needed their services as he was going to instead paint the barmaid from the pub nearby. The couple were dumbfounded as to why he would do that. Our religious right is just like that – they do what they say they’re going to do and act surprised when people disapprove.

  3. We’ll never understand what it takes to defeat the LGBT agenda without understanding the genesis for the LGBT agenda.

    The homosexual agenda was enabled and made inevitable in America when the 18th-century founders replaced the 17th-century Colonial governments of, by, and for God established upon His unchanging moral law (including Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) for their own humanistic government of, by, and for the people based upon capricious Enlightenment traditions.

    Had the constitutional framers done as our true 1600’s Christian forbears did, there would be no homosexual agenda in America (including Obergefell v. Hodges and transgender bathrooms) because no sodomite or lesbian would dare risk exposing themselves to petition government for their rights.

    For more on how Yahweh’s moral law applies and should be applied today, see free online book “Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant” at

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