Louisiana Governor Sues Own Attorney General for Rejecting Contracts With Anti-Discrimination Clauses

Edwards-compressedBATON ROUGE, La. — The Democratic governor of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against his own attorney general for rejecting state contracts that include anti-discrimination clauses in alignment with an order issued earlier this year by the governor.

“He basically told me that if I wanted him to approve those contracts that I would have to sue him,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a press conference on Sept. 30. “So I’m obliging him on that.”

As previously reported, in April, Edwards rescinded an order from his predecessor, Gov. Bobby Jindal, that would “prohibit the state from denying or revoking a tax exemption, tax deduction, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, professional license, certification, accreditation, or employment on the basis the person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Edwards conversely issued his own order declaring that government officials may not act adversely in employment matters over the person’s so-called “sexual orientation” or “gender identity,” and barred those who contract with the state from doing the same. He provided an exemption for churches and faith-based organizations.

“All contracts for the purchase of services by any state agencies, departments, offices, commissions, boards, or officers of the state of Louisiana … shall include a provision that the contractor shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age in any matter relating to employment,” the order reads in part.

But Attorney General Jeff Landry said that “there is no constitutional or statutory provision in Louisiana banning discrimination on the basis of ‘gender identity'” and that the governor had overstepped his bounds “by attempting to create new legislation in violation of the separation of powers.”

He noted that the state legislature had rejected a bill with requirements similar to Edwards’ order, and said that he didn’t believe the governor had the right to supersede that.

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Edwards soon issued a statement about the matter, opining that “the attorney general has overstepped the authority given to his office, and he is now attempting to erode the constitutionally granted executive order power of the governor and disrupting the work of state agencies.”

Landry has now reportedly rejected over 30 contracts that included non-discrimination language, and a meeting between Edwards and Landry has not resulted in an agreement.

“Defendant apparently believes that it is necessary that private attorneys who contract with entities within the executive branch must retain the right to discriminate against persons on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Edwards wrote in his lawsuit.

Landry said during a press conference on the same day Edwards announced the suit, “It’s unfortunate that the governor continues to want to push for a protected class that the legislature has six times—with bipartisan support—rejected.”

“So again, to his executive order, he has pretended to create a protected class that the legislator has rejected, and that is very important, and because he and I have not been able to come to an agreement on that because he does not want to conform to the wishes of the legislature,” he added. “I want to abide by the law. So, I’m guessing he will take that fight—he wants to fight that fight in court.”

Both Edwards and Landry identify as Roman Catholic.

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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Not regarding this news but regarding discrimination: USA should not discriminate against the Christians for opposing the culture’s blasphemy and Holocaust(abortion) and abnormal sexual immorality. It betrays the founding of the nation and all lawfulness of humanity. Bibleless Sodom’s legality is just a mere junk for villains to enslave moral people. No Bible = No rule of the law.

    • Regarding this news and regarding discrimination: christians should not
      discriminate against other americans because of their christian religious beliefs. Christians are free to oppose blasphemy, abortion, and abnormal sexual immorality if they choose but they have no right to force their religious beliefs on others. Christianity had nothing to do with the founding of this nation which has no state sponsored religion. Religion is a tool used by the powerful people to enslave weak people. Our rule of the law is not based on the bible or any other religious text.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        You are wrong. Christians alone have protected everyone, bringing the truth and charity and literacy and medicine into the whole world. The West has nothing good or right apart from Christianity, and Christianity created European nations including British America. The Westerners would have been altogether illiterate savages if they had no Bible or the Christian Church. Today’s secular Westerners are bad descendants who try to enslave mankind with sexual immorality and manual population control murder. The West needs Christianity to be good and do what is right because Christianity is the West’s sole sane conscience. Christless West only behaves like a huge Sodom.

        • Thanks for sharing just how little you know about history and the world, that was hilarious! That’s what happens when you only education is rereading the same book of fiction over and over again. Now continue “submitting” yourself to whatever you think you need to while clinging to christianity and your bible. It’s clear that is all you have known and all you will ever have.

  • Michael C

    Louisiana officials are fighting over whether or not it’s cool to deny government employment to lgb&t people?

    Is this really a conversation we’re having?

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Not exactly. It’s about whether the government can contract with private entities that discriminate on sexual orientation.

      • Michael C


        They’re arguing over whether people who are doing work for the state government can be fired just for being gay.

  • Liberal Elitist

    I applaud Gov. John Bel Edwards for standing up to the bullies.

  • What a do uc he.