It’s hard to believe, but right now under Louisiana law, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are subject to unfair discrimination based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. But it is true, discrimination exists throughout Louisiana law.
Rep. Austin Badon has introduced House Bill #199, the Louisiana Non-discrimination Act (LANA), to expand the scope of protections of over 60 current Louisiana non-discrimination statute provisions to better protect our most vulnerable citizens from unlawful discriminatory practices. More specifically, LANA adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the lists of personal characteristics protected from unlawful discriminatory practices in the fields of employment, housing, education, finance, public accommodations and criminal justice. Moreover, it adds “age”, sex” and/or “disability” to over 40 Louisiana non-discrimination statute provisions currently excluding these terms from the lists of protected personal characteristics.
Every American should have the opportunity to work hard, pay their dues, contribute to society, and provide for themselves and their families. That means putting food on the table, paying our bills, and ensuring we can put a roof over our children’s heads. No hardworking American, including workers who are gay or transgender, should have to live in fear that they can be fired, evicted, or denied a seat at a restaurant for just being who you are or whom you love.
We are taking this to Baton Rouge and fighting for Louisiana to be on the right side of history. Stand with us! Have you ever been a victim of discrimination? Do you have story you want to share? Let us know — Send us your story, and let’s work together to make sure we are #BeFairLouisiana.
SarahJane E. Brady
Forum for Equality, Executive Director