Thursday, August 21, 2008

Louisiana Takes A Step Backwards

Christianist lunatic Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (pictured at left) is working hard to move Louisiana further back into the economic backwaters by announcing that he will not reissue a ban on discriminating against gays and lesbians in the work place signed by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco in December 2004. With the State of Louisiana - and New Orleans in particular - still not recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina three years ago, one would think that government officials would be doing everything possible to be attractive to progressive employers. But then religious nutcases like Jindal - who believes in exorcisms among other things - cannot grasp the concept that civil laws should be separate from religious beliefs. Especially religious beliefs that send a "not welcome" message to companies who believe ALL citizens and employees are entitled to equal non-discrimination protections. Jindal is yet one more example of why religious fanatics who cannot separate their personal religious beliefs from public policy should NOT be elected to public office since they impose religious based discrimination into the civil laws.. Here are some highlights from the Boston Globe:
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is urging Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to rescind his pledge to allow a state anti-discrimination order to expire on Friday. The order, originally signed into law by former Governor Kathleen Blanco, bars state agencies and contractors from harassment and discrimination on the basis race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation or disabilities. Jindal has said he will refuse to renew the order, in part, out of fear that it would hinder faith-based organizations' ability to contract with the state.
Jindal, who has been mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, has wrongly insinuated that other state and federal laws would protect workers and contractors, saying that discrimination is prohibited under other statutes. No such laws, however, protect gay Louisiana workers from discrimination.
"Allowing Louisiana's anti-discrimination order to expire would mean the end of any legal protection for gay citizens in the state," said PFLAG executive director Jody M. Huckaby, a native of the state. "By not renewing this critically important measure, Governor Jindal would remove the welcome mat from Louisiana's front door. It is imperative, and urgent, that the Governor not allow the state's commitment to non-discrimination to expire."

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