BATON ROUGE, La. — A lawsuit challenging Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order offering protections to people who oppose same-sex marriage is headed to trial.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1j9XK6E ) state District Judge Todd Hernandez has refused to dismiss the suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Louisiana, the Forum for Equality Foundation and six New Orleans residents.
Jindal framed the executive order as a protection of “religious liberty” for Christians who oppose same-sex marriage and has called the lawsuit an “attack” on civil liberties.
The “Marriage and Conscience” 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.”
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The Republican governor issued the order after lawmakers refused to write similar provisions into Louisiana law.
The lawsuit claims Jindal tried to bypass the Legislature and make new law on his own, exceeding his constitutional authority and violating the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
Jindal’s lawyer says the gay rights advocates haven’t shown they face harm from the order. An attorney for the plaintiffs says the governor is exceeding the bounds of his authority with the order.
Hernandez’s ruling said the dispute presented is ripe for his consideration.