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Analysis: Anti-gay bill rejection gives Jindal a campaign opportunity

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Jindal, who is courting evangelical Christians for his likely White House bid, seemed to see the committee’s action as an opportunity. He issued an executive order aimed at doing the same thing as Johnson’s bill, albeit in a narrower fashion.

The order prohibits state agencies under Jindal’s control from denying licenses, benefits, contracts or tax deductions in response to actions taken because of someone’s “religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

“We don’t support discrimination in Louisiana and we do support religious liberty. These two values can be upheld at the same time,” Jindal said.

Many suggest the order has no practical effect and is unenforceable because of limits on Jindal’s power through executive order. Jindal’s office dismisses such criticism. But it’s also unclear if enforceability is really the point.

Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, the second-highest ranking member of the Louisiana House, said while lawmakers came to the conclusion the bill wasn’t necessary, “the governor is engaged with something other than trying to deal with real issues in the state of Louisiana.”

Jindal did something similar in relation to the Common Core education standards.

Last year, the governor came out in opposition to the multistate English and math standards, but he did little to bolster efforts from a group of lawmakers trying to remove Common Core from Louisiana’s public school classrooms.

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Instead, he waited until the legislative session had ended and the bill had failed, then issued a series of executive orders he said were aimed at getting Louisiana out of Common Core.

The orders had no such effect, and the education standards remain in place.

Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire won’t know if Jindal’s latest executive order, as some contend, really does nothing. And Jindal will get to say he was the fighter for “religious liberty” who put it in place.

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