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Dan Gilmore / May 20, 2015

Gov. Jindal Takes Action on Religious Freedom

Last month, Louisiana began debating a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, similar to the ones that caused so much uproar in Indiana and Arkansas. Lawmakers were tiptoeing around the law, however, because of its optics. Everyone from the state’s big businesses to the tourism industry opposed the bill at its public hearing because they alleged it would sanction discrimination against homosexuals. Four weeks later and the bill is good as dead after a Louisiana House committee rejected it 10-2. In response, Gov. Bobby Jindal — who is considering a presidential bid that would appeal to conservative Christians — announced he would go it alone and issue a truncated version of the bill as an executive order. The order would ensure that individuals who believe marriage is between one man and one woman would not lose tax exempt statuses, professional licenses or employment over their beliefs. It’s “not about discrimination. It’s about the First Amendment,” Jindal said. While it’s commendable for Jindal to stand while Louisiana’s lawmakers cower, it’s worrisome that he’s essentially using Barack Obama’s tactics in pressing change. More…

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