Jindal fights back after religious bill defeat

Published 9:37 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers on Tuesday shelved a divisive religious objections bill pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, but the governor fought back, issuing an executive order aimed at doing the same thing.

A House legal committee voted 10-2 for a procedural move to kill the proposal, handing Jindal a significant legislative defeat. Both Republicans and Democrats voted against the bill amid criticism it could sanction discrimination against same-sex couples.

The Republican governor then issued an order prohibiting state agencies from denying licenses, benefits, contracts or tax deductions in response to actions taken because of someone’s “religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

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Jindal says the order would be effective several months beyond his administration’s end unless Louisiana’s next governor rescinds it.

Sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson, a Bossier City Republican, said he is not giving up and will try to force another hearing on the bill. But lawmakers have said the state has more pressing concerns, particularly a hefty budget shortfall.