Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed an executive order that expands protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in Louisiana.
The executive order would bar discrimination against state employees and contractors, as well as discrimination in the course of offering state services and benefits.
The move was roundly praised by gay and trans rights advocates on Wednesday.
“This order is a clear statement from Gov. Edwards that discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Louisianians is wrong and should not be tolerated in our state,” said Matthew Patterson, managing director of Equality Louisiana. “We are honored to have worked with our partner organizations Forum for Equality and Louisiana Trans Advocates to urge the governor to adopt these vital protections.”
Former Govs. Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards signed similar orders protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination in state government, but John Bel Edwards’ order provides for the first state-wide legal protections for transgender people in Louisiana.
There is currently no state law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Louisianans from employment discrimination.
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