News (USA)

Contentious Louisiana anti-gay religious objections bill scheduled for hearing

[ Previous ]

Johnson said the bill will shield religious objectors should same-sex marriage become legal.

“You can’t get the death penalty … for your businesses, your trade, your profession, if you don’t go along with some new idea about marriage,” he said of the bill.

Attempting to tamp down the uproar, Johnson plans to make changes that would prohibit discrimination between “private persons.”

But that hasn’t lessened criticism.

If the high court strikes down marriage bans, Johnson’s bill would allow landlords to deny rental applications, businesses to fire employees, and state workers to refuse to assist same sex-couples, said Matthew Patterson, with Equality Louisiana, a pro-LGBT group.

“We’re still left with a bill that does not give the state any ability to prevent or remedy an act of discrimination,” he said.

Stephen Perry, head of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, called the bill “radioactive” and said his office has been “overwhelmed for the past month-and-a-half on this issue, just playing defense.” He said states that adopt such laws “are going to weaken any bid for a college football championship, Final Four or Super Bowl.”

Article continues below

Despite the criticism and the session’s end in four weeks, Jindal remains optimistic about the measure’s chances.

“We’ve had a lot of good conversations with legislators, pastors and community groups that support this bill,” Jindal spokesman Mike Reed said in a statement. “There’s plenty of time for the bill to move through the process.”

But with the state’s budget problems and lawmakers already faced with other tough votes, Jefferson had a different take: “The timing couldn’t have been more challenging.”

© 2015, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

With a sly look, emphasis on the word ‘Constitution,’ Ginsburg pronounces two men married

Previous article

Alabama minister arrested for trying to officiate same-sex wedding pleads guilty

Next article