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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mayor Landrieu issues his own executive order in response to Gov. Bobby Jindal

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 3:35 PM

click to enlarge A page from the city of New Orleans' official tourism website, "New Orleans Welcomes All," seeks to reassure LGBT tourists that they're welcome in the city. - COURTESY NEW ORLEANS ONLINE
  • COURTESY NEW ORLEANS ONLINE
  • A page from the city of New Orleans' official tourism website, "New Orleans Welcomes All," seeks to reassure LGBT tourists that they're welcome in the city.

One day after Gov. Bobby Jindal issued his "Marriage & Conscience" executive order, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has issued his own executive order, saying "the City of New Orleans appropriately balances religious beliefs of all kinds with civil liberties, including freedom from discrimination."

Jindal's bill followed on the heels of the defeat of a House bill by state Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, and attempted to accomplish the same thing — in the words of Jindal, to "prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman." Critics, including Landrieu and members of the New Orleans tourism community, called the bill divisive and said it would adversely affect tourism and conventions in Louisiana — which it seemed to do when state legislators in New York called upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban all non-essential state travel to Louisiana.

Landrieu's executive order came one day after the city announced it would bid on the right to host the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020. The city tourism effort New Orleans Will also issued its own statement, saying, "This executive order is largely a political statement by our conservative governor in support of his national position on the issue. That is certainly his right. It is important for those who visit Louisiana to know that its effect in essence is that of a political campaign document." And the city's official tourism website highlighted "New Orleans Welcomes All," a page featuring male couples enjoying the city's tourism attractions. 

Under the jump: Landrieu's executive order.

EXECUTIVE ORDER

MJL 15-01

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:

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.
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.
Effective Date: This Executive Order is effective upon the date of its issuance.

Signed,

Mitchell J. Landrieu

May 21, 2015

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