The press secretary for Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said today that the governor soon will rescind an executive order signed in May by then-Gov. Bobby Jindal that allowed businesses and state agencies to refuse to provide services to gays if doing so contravened their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
The announcement, made in response to a Deadline inquiry, came just hours after Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, under mounting pressure from Hollywood, media and other companies nationwide, vetoed a similar “religious liberty” bill in his state that had been widely criticized as being anti-gay. Georgia and Louisiana, with their generous tax incentives, are two of the nation’s top film-producing states.
“Governor Edwards will issue the executive order, but it is in the drafting stage,” his press secretary, Shauna Sanford, told Deadline. “As far as Jindal’s religious liberty order, the governor intends to rescind it in the near future.”
Jindal issued the executive order after a “religious freedom” bill failed to make it out of the state Legislature. In December, prior to his inauguration, Edwards said he would rescind it after he took office in January. But since then, none of the four executive orders he’s signed has dealt with the issue.
Last week, the governor of North Carolina signed similar anti-gay legislation.