Adam Dupuis's picture

Louisiana Legislature Rejects LGBT Workplace Protections

"You can get married on Saturday and fired on Monday." This is still very true in many states in the US.  Louisiana lawmakers had the chance to help protect LGBT employees in their state once again, but fell short in offering protections had by other minorities. 

The Louisiana Senate voted down legislation 11-24 Wednesday (May 31) that would have made it illegal for an employer to discriminate against or fire an employee because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The bill would have extended a ban on workplace discrimination based on race, color, religious beliefs and sex that already exists in Louisiana law to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Religious organizations and employers would have been exempt from the provision if they desired.   

"It does not do anything that the law does not afford me as a black man," said Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, the sponsor of Senate Bill 155, before it was rejected. - nola.com

The bill was quite simple, just adding in a little section to help protect LGBTers while they try to make a living.

You can view the entire bill/document here

The bill did not pass (8-25 vote) even though an earlier statewide poll this year found that Louisiana residents favored workplace protections for LGBT people overwhelmingly.

Is this Trump's America? Not so fast. Nola.com writer Julia O'Donoghue reminds us that President Donald Trump kept an executive order in place that provides the same protections to LGBT people working for the federal government, a fact Carter pointed out to Republicans, but apparently it did not make a difference for only 2 Republicans supported the bill.

Some anti-protection Republicans shared why the voted against the bill.

Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, R-Jennings, said the protections based on "gender expression" gave him pause. "I think I get gay or lesbian -- or even transgender. I guess what my concern is -- is expression," Morrish said. "Can I express today that I'm male and tomorrow that I'm female? I'm not sure that works."

Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, questioned whether transgender people weren't already protected from workplace discrimination under the existing language in state law. She said federal authorities had found that transgender people were covered by the ban against "sex" discrimination in federal workplace protection laws. - nola.com

Will intelligent Louisiana law makers try again to protect LGBT employees?  We hope so.  We as well hope that other states will try to move forward to ensure our rights as workers, employees, citizens.

Which other states can we "get married on Saturday and fired on Monday?" Unfortunately, there's many.