LGBT Exec Order Tossed in Bayou State; Governor, Attorney General Clash Over Issue

An executive order issued by Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards (Dem.) that extended protections for LGBT employees in state government was ruled unconstitutional by a state court judge who said the governor exceeded his authority.

Wednesday’s ruling by State District Judge Tod Hernandez is the death knell–at least for now–of the governor’s order that prohibited discrimination in government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The governor’s antagonist in this affair is the state’s Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican who political observers in the state think is teeing up for a run at the governor’s job in 2019.

Landry, who filed suit against the order, said his challenge was aimed at “upholding the checks and balances on executive authority as established in our state constitution.”

It appears Landry’s real aim was to block state contracts that contained the antidiscrimination language more so than to deny rights to state government workers.

Edwards issued his order in April. Since then Landry has blocked dozens of legal services contracts containing the anti-discrimination language. As many as 100 contracts for state agencies and boards to pay outside lawyers are stalled.

Edwards got his dig in too. His administration refused to to transfer $18 million to the attorney general’s office because Landry refuses to include the executive order language in the agreement.

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