Mike Johnson’s Marriage Bill Is Finally Heading To Committee, But It’s In Trouble

I’ll start with the good news, HB 7o7, the “Marriage and Conscience Act” by State Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City) is finally going to committee. It got assigned to the House Civil Law committee, but not without a fight from Democrat State Reps Sam Jones (D-Franklin) and Jeff Arnold (D-New Orleans).

Before the bill was sent to committee, Johnson tried to amend his bill. While the amendment was mostly technical in nature, it did make one major change. It would’ve inserted the following language in it:


This would mean that bakers in places like New Orleans, where sexual orientation is protected under anti-discrimination ordinances, could still be forced to bake cakes for gay weddings. I won’t lie, this amendment would make this bill much less appealing to me. While it would still protect believers in traditional marriage from persecution by Democrat local governments in regards to permits and licensing, there needs to be protection for private businesses who cannot perform services they believe violate their conscience.

However, in order to just get the bill assigned to committee, Johnson was forced to pull the amendment after Jones and Arnold threatened to object.

Now that Johnson’s bill is in Civil Law, it faces a tough slog ahead. The committee is chaired by State Rep. Neil Abramson (D-New Orleans) who probably won’t support it. The only other two somewhat socially conservative Democrats on the committee are State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite) and State Rep. Patrick Jefferson (D-Homer). Edwards won’t vote for it because he’s running for governor, but Jefferson might be persuadable. But, what’s more likely is that Democrats will vote party line on this issue. The other three Democrats on the committee are likely no votes as well.

The key in this committee are going to be the 7 Republicans and if they can hold together. Mike Johnson I’m sure will vote for his own bill. Ray Garofalo, Cameron Henry, and Clay Schexnayder all score well with the Louisiana Family Forum, so we can assume they’ll vote for it.

The three other Republicans; Nancy Landry, Mike Huval, and Gregory Miller score in the 70s with LFF. The Hayride reached out to them to ask them how they plan on voting and as of writing, they have yet to respond.

The bill has a tough road because it appears the Legislature has chosen this bill as the one they’re going to embarrass Governor Jindal on. Senate President John Alario has come out against it which means it has virtually no chance in the Senate without drastic changes.



Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article
Join the Conversation - Download the Speakeasy App.

Trending on The Hayride