Louisiana Governor fights to reinstate protections for LGBT people
The Louisiana governor is fighting at appeal to have an executive order protecting LGBT people in state government reinstated.
Back in December, a judge ruled that Governor John Bel Edwards overstepped his authority by issuing an executive order to protect LGBT+ people, a judge has ruled.
According to State District Judge Todd Hernandez, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards overstepped his authority with an anti-discrimination order.
Former Governor Bobby Jindal was adamantly anti-gay
Those opposed to the move said Edwards attempted to change the state constitution.
The Judge ruled that the order was unconstitutional as it attempted to create or expand state law.
Governor Edwards’ order banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
A three judge panel of an appeals court on Tuesday heard arguments in the case.
But the panel did not immediately issue a decision.
Lawyer for Edwards, Matthew Block said Hernandez “just got it wrong” when he ruled in December.
“The executive order is not law,” Block said. “It is internal policy to the executive branch about employment and about contracting standards.”
A victory was celebrated in December by Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry who said a lawsuit he had filed against the order aimed to uphold “the checks and balances on executive authority as established in our state constitution.”
Governor Edwards said his pro-LGBT order was meant as a symbolic gesture that Louisiana does not discriminate.
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He said it did not include contractors or religious organisations.
Landry’s lawsuit argued that the order had attempted to create a class of people not protected under state law.
Judge Hernandez sided with Landry, saying the order was “an unlawful usurp of the constitutional authority vested only in the legislative branch of government.”
A bill to protect same-sex couples under the state’s domestic abuse laws earlier this year advanced in Louisiana.
The previous Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal was one of the most notoriously anti-LGBT Governors in the US – having issued orders to protect the ‘religious freedom’ to discriminate against gay people, and pledged to block same-sex weddings.
But Jindal’s chosen successor was ousted in 2015’s election by Democrat John Bel Edwards – and Governor Edwards wasted no time in bringing around change.