[JURIST] Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards [official website] on Wednesday signed [press release] an executive order [text, PDF] that creates a new anti-discrimination law intended to protect members of the LGBT community. Prior to signing the executive order, there was no state law in Louisiana protecting LGBT individuals from employment discrimination. In signing the bill, Governor Edwards stated, “We are fortunate enough to live in a state that is rich with diversity, and we are built on a foundation of unity and fairness for all of our citizens.” The order has broken new ground in the state, as it marks the first time Louisiana has specifically recognized the equal rights of transgender people. Governor Edwards’s order rescinds previous laws established by his successor Bobby Jindal, who worked to limit certain LGBT rights.
The intersection of religious liberty and sexual orientation and gender identity has been a controversial issue in the US. Earlier this week Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said that he would veto [JURIST report] a religious freedom bill [HB 757, text] that critics claim would sanction discrimination against LGBT individuals. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday vetoed [press release] a similar bill. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper [official profile] on Tuesday stated [JURIST report] during a press conference that he will not defend House Bill 2 [materials], which he considers to be discriminatory against the LGBT community. That legislation specifically prohibits local municipalities from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances.