GOP Lawmaker Pushing Even Broader Religious Freedom Law

Erika Knott, left, wife of Kelly Bryson, holds her son, Jeremy Knott, 6, as they participate in a celebration rally in Jackson Square in New Orleans, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Legally married to her longtime partner ... Erika Knott, left, wife of Kelly Bryson, holds her son, Jeremy Knott, 6, as they participate in a celebration rally in Jackson Square in New Orleans, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Legally married to her longtime partner in Canada in 2007, Bryson is talking about a second wedding, in the United States this time, in light of Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down of a law denying federal benefits to married gay couples. Same sex marriage and civil unions remain illegal in Louisiana. And the full implications of the DOMA decision were not entirely clear for people living outside the 13 states where gay marriage is recognized. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) MORE LESS
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A Louisiana lawmaker has introduced an anti-gay religious freedom bill that is broader than the controversial one Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) pushed in Indiana and then was forced to clarify after national criticism.

The Louisiana bill, introduced by state Rep. Mike Johnson, lets businesses refuse to serve same sex couples, just like the one in Indiana.

But the Louisiana proposal also goes a step further and allows a private company to not offer benefits to same-sex married couples if there are religious objections, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune. Notably, the legislation also blocks the Louisiana government from taking away state contracts and tax benefits from business owners because of the owners’ views on same-sex marriage.

In Louisiana, some local parishes (New Orleans, Shreveport) have ordinances that protect gay people from employment discrimination. Johnson’s bill would not affect local parishes so those protections would stay in place, the Times Picayune said.

But the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for rights for same-sex couples, warned that the law could still challenge those municipal protections.

“Passing a law like this would put the enforcement of these sorts of municipal protections at risk,” the HRC’s Adam Talbott told TPM. “It opens them up to challenge in court and obviously our position is that LGBT people should have reliable non-discrimination protections no matter where they live.”

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal hasn’t weighed in on the proposal yet but he was a vocal supporter of the Indiana law and a similar proposal in Arkansas.

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Notable Replies

  1. Louisiana: Justifiably at the bottom of every list measuring quality of life.

  2. They are just incapable of learning, aren’t they?

  3. The JOS (Jindal Operating System) is programmed to choose either “Pander” or “Worst option availble” when solving a problem.

  4. And, yet they have the highest incarceration rate in America.

  5. Let’s face it, ISIS is well and alive in this country! Individuals like this cretin need to be treated as such, as a terrorist!
    With assholes like Johnson, it’s their way or the highway and that’s dangerous for anyone’s religious freedom!
    I believe that people like Johnson are more dangerous than terrorists with guns!
    He needs to be shamed publicly and ridiculed everywhere he goes! This jerk is pushing the envelope and needs to be pushed into a corner and made to squeal like a stuck pig!
    Playing nice with these type of people never works!
    Contact this arsehole and tell him about your right to be free from religious assholes just like himself @:
    Representative
    Mike Johnson
    Republican - District 8
    My Legislation
    Contact Rep. Mike Johnson
    johnsonmi@legis.la.gov

    DISTRICT MAP - 2010 Census PDF District Map
    DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS
    2250 Hospital Dr.
    Suite 248
    Bossier City, LA 71111

    LEGISLATIVE AIDE
    Pamela Gras

    (318)741-2790
    (318)741-2792 (Fax)

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