Religious Freedom to Discriminate?

Earlier today, Senate Bill 164, which would have updated existing non-discrimination laws to include sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression, was defeated in the Senate Judiciary A Committee on a 4-to-1 vote. The sole committee vote to pass the bill was the bill’s sponsor, Louisiana State Senator Ed Murray of New Orleans.

Senator Martiny (R) of Metairie asserted that it is the fault of the victim if she is denied service because of her sexual orientation or gender identity, while Senator Claitor (R) of Baton Rouge expressed his concern that the bill would violate the “religious freedom” of business owners to discriminate.

We thank Sen. Murray for his leadership in advocating for passage, but we are disappointed that partisan politics and willful ignorance defeated an effort to protect Louisiana’s citizens from discrimination. We are called to protect all people who are targets of discrimination, and our elected leaders need to recognize the important economic and social contributions of all our residents, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

We are grateful for the efforts of Senator Ed Murray who pushed for the bill to be approved. Please click here to send him a thank you note for his efforts.

Forum for Equality believes that all citizens are entitled to equal rights and should be treated fairly and equally under the laws of our state. We will continue fighting for those rights at the State Capitol and in local city and parish governments across Louisiana.

Yours in Equality,

SarahJane Brady
Executive Director, Forum for Equality

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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