In a move most likely to send Louisiana’s current governor, Bobby Jindal, scurrying back down the rat hole from whence he came, the state’s governor.-elect, and Democrat, thankyouverymuch, John Bel Edwards plans to issue an executive order to protect the LGBT community from firing, discrimination and harassment as state employees and government contractors.
Sadly, while this order will cover state workers and government contractors in agencies and departments the governor oversees, executive orders don't necessarily bind parts of state government outside his control, like the judiciary.
In most parts of Louisiana, it is still legal to fire someone for being LGBT, or in a same-sex relationship, even if legally married; yup, you can legally marry your same-sex partner on Saturday and then get fired for being in a same-sex relationship on Monday. In the entire state, it’s only in New Orleans and Shreveport — which have special local ordinances on the books — that people are prohibited from firing a person for being LGBT.
And, there are a couple of other exceptions: the Jefferson and Lafayette Parish governments do have nondiscrimination policies in place for their local government workers, and in East Baton Rouge the mayor, Kip Holden, has issued an executive order of his own. But the move by Governor-elect Edwards will be statewide.
Naturally, not everyone is happy about Edwards' executive order. The Louisiana Family Forum, a conservative Christian state lobbying group, said it will fight the directive because, well, gay and because they believe that treating people equally goes against the teachings of the Baby Jeebus and his Daddy.
But this is a step forward for a state that has been wallowing in hate and discrimination of its LGBT citizens for far too long, and the fact that Bobby Jindal no doubt has his panties in a twist — he once called these kinds of protections “unnecessary” — is a bonus.
Can I get a second amen for that?