Statement by Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger III on Governor Bobby Jindal's Executive Order on Religious Freedom
“On its face, Governor Jindal’s executive order is overreaching and more than likely unenforceable. It is deeply disappointing that he has taken this extreme action to resurrect the so-called religious freedom bill, which the majority republican House Civil Law committee decided to kill by a 10-2 vote.
Gov. Jindal’s executive order is just as unnecessary as the original legislation. Louisiana already has the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, which prohibits government intrusion into a person’s exercise of religion. Additional federal protections exist to secure this incredible, important freedom.
We have real issues to face in Louisiana. Instead of focusing on funding healthcare and education, the Governor has decided to play politics and waste valuable resources that should be focused on fixing the state’s budget- a crisis that this type of political posturing got us into in the first place.
This type of harmful legislation is nothing more than bigotry enshrouded in religion. It does not reflect Louisiana’s values, and it is damaging to our state’s image and economy. I think I speak for the vast majority of Louisianians when I say January cannot come soon enough. It is truly time to turn the page of history towards a more inclusive and prosperous future."
Read Leger’s Op-Ed, "Religious Freedom is Essential, but Shouldn't Be Used for Discrimination," here: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/religious_freedom_law_louisian.html