The reaction to Governor Bobby Jindal’s religious freedom executive order has been overwhelmingly negative across the state and the country. Today, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu added his voice to those opposed to it. He issued an executive order of his stating that discrimination will not be tolerated in New Orleans.
Here’s the text of it:
WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans is proud to be a culturally rich community of faith, inclusion, tolerance, and diversity;
WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans is proud to foster an environment for its residents, visitors, and businesses that is welcoming, just and inclusive;
WHEREAS, the free exercise of religion in the City of New Orleans, including religious beliefs relating to marriage, is both a constitutionally protected right, and a matter of paramount importance to the fabric of New Orleans;
WHEREAS, the freedom against discrimination on any basis is a matter of equal paramount importance to the fabric of New Orleans;
WHEREAS, in 2010 Louisiana enacted the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act which prohibits governmental burden of a person’s exercise of religion;
WHEREAS, New Orleans City Code Chapter 86 currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and any public accommodation based on race, creed, national origin or ancestry, color, religion, gender or sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital status, age, physical condition or disability;
WHEREAS, to the extent permitted by law, contracts entered into by the City of New Orleans contain a requirement that City contractors, consultants or partners will not, in the performance of the contract, discriminate or retaliate, in fact or in perception, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, culture, ancestral history, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or domestic partner status, physical or mental disability, or AIDS- or HIV-status;
WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans appropriately balances religious beliefs of all kinds with civil liberties, including freedom from discrimination.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MITCHELL J. LANDRIEU, BY THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME as Mayor of the City of New Orleans by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana and the Home Rule Charter and laws of the City of New Orleans, HEREBY ORDER AS FOLLOWS:
1. Purpose: The purpose of this Executive Order is to confirm for the residents of the City of New Orleans, its businesses and visitors that religious beliefs are protected from unjustified governmental burden, but that there is no tolerance in the City of New Orleans for discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin or ancestry, color, religion, gender or sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital or domestic partner status, age, physical condition or disability.
2. All departments, commissions, boards, agencies of the City are authorized and directed to take cognizance of and comply with this Executive Order and the anti-discrimination laws of the City of New Orleans.
3. Effective Date: This Executive Order is effective upon the date of its issuance.
Mitchell J. Landrieu
May 21, 2015
This executive order is a no-brainer from both a political and policy perspective. The order is simply tells city agencies to follow the laws of the city, which is what an executive order is supposed to do. Given the large gay population and the overall socially liberal bent of the city of New Orleans this helps Landrieu politically.
Landrieu has another reason to issue this executive order. He’s trying to stop potential travel bans from places like New York State.