Lawsuit challenges Bobby Jindal's religious objections order

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. File Photo: Reuters   | Photo Credit: DOMINICK REUTER

A lawsuit was slapped against Indian-origin Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, for his executive order that gives special protection to people who oppose same-sex marriages.

The lawsuit filed yesterday comes days after the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that effectively struck down bans on same-sex marriage in Louisiana and several other states. Louisiana had been the last in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Louisiana, the Forum for Equality Foundation and six New Orleans’ residents lodged their suit, challenging the governor’s May 19 order in state court in Baton Rouge.

“Governor Jindal has violated the Louisiana Constitution by setting up special protections for those who share his belief system. In our country no one is above the law, including the Governor. He swore to uphold the laws of Louisiana. This lawsuit seeks to hold him to that oath,” Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, said.

Mr. Jindal’s ‘Marriage and Conscience’ executive order prohibits state agencies under his control, from denying licenses, benefits or tax deductions against individuals or business for their religiously-motivated opposition to same-sex marriage.

The Republican governor, who is courting evangelical Christian voters in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, issued the order after lawmakers refused to write similar provisions into Louisiana law.

The lawsuit claims Mr. Jindal tried to bypass the Legislature and make new law on his own, exceeding his constitutional authority and violating the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

Mr. Jindal’s office didn’t immediately respond yesterday to a request for comment about the lawsuit. Later the governor’s top lawyer said, “When he issued the executive order, the governor framed it as a protection for Christians who oppose same-sex marriage, in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision.”

But critics saw the order as sanctioning discrimination against same-sex couples

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 8:11:07 AM |

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