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ACLU Files Suit Over 'Marriage And Conscience' Order

The ACLU of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against Governor Bobby Jindal over an executive order he issued in May implementing protections for business owners with religious objections to same-sex marriage. 

Under the order, state government is prohibited from denying tax breaks, state contracts or benefits to a person acting in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Jindal issued the order in anticipation of last week’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. Marjorie Esman, Executive Director of ACLU of Louisiana, says the lawsuit actually has nothing to do with the supreme court decision.

“The governor is not authorized under the Louisiana constitution to create substantive rights, only the legislature can do that,” Esman says.

The language of the order is derived from the “Marriage and Conscience Act,” a bill that died in committee during the legislative session earlier this year.

Jindal’s office issued a statement saying he refuses to back down from the executive order, and accusing the ACLU of attacking civil liberties rather than defending them.