Stop Louisiana Legislation from Codifying Discrimination

SB 217 will violate Louisiana’s Home Rule Charter and directly impact protections for LGBT persons in this state. This bill seeks to invalidate as well as restrict cities, parishes and agencies, like the State Department of Education, from enacting ordinances and policies on public contracts that expand on state and federal anti-discrimination laws; such as enumerating sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Senate Bill 217 states that companies and contractors can be awarded public contracts so long as they have anti-discrimination policies that include race, religion, national ancestry, age, sex, or disability. But then continues to restrict any expansion on the enumerated categories in any non-discrimination clause in public contracts. So cities and parishes could not require contractors to have any protections for the LGBT community and beyond even if the Mayor and/or City Council voted and supported such a measure!

We must stop this discriminatory bill! Tell the your State Senator that you are appalled that they would even consider a bill that will legalize discrimination!

Sample Message

Please Vote No on SB 217
DearĀ  [Decision Maker],
The Louisiana Constitution provides for Home Rule by all Louisiana cities. SB 217 is a dangerous attempt to undermine that very principle of local government, and it should be defeated. I ask that you vote against SB217.

SB 217 violates Louisiana’s Home Rule principles to prevent local governments from deciding their own anti-discrimination policies. This bill seeks to invalidate as well as restrict cities and parishes from enacting ordinances and policies on public contracts that are broader than state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
The Baton Rouge Advocate cites issues with the argument that the supporters of this bill put forward in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee:

Is education for every child? Or is it Louisiana’s idea that public schools should be able to pick and choose who can go through the front door? …

The bill would allow charter schools – publicly funded, but independently run – to refuse to admit students on the basis of their ability to speak English, their sexual orientation or other factors not specifically set out in state law.” Read the whole article: http://theadvocate.com/news/opinion/2452136-123/our-views-a-dilemma-for

Please vote to protect Home Rule. Please vote NO on SB 217.
Respectfully,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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About Forum For Equality

The Forum For Equality is a statewide human rights organization dedicated to the establishment of a society free from discrimination and to the support of good government. We believe that the fastest and most efficient way to achieve these goals is to educate our communities and to constructively participate in the political process.
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