The ACLU Foundation of Louisiana has filed suit against Governor Bobby Jindal over the “Marriage and Conscience Order” issued May 19.
Forum for Equality Foundation and six individuals also joined the suit which challenges the constitutionality of the order saying ‘it goes beyond his constitutional authority as governor.”
The group says the order creates a class of people who are protected over others due to their belief that same-sex couples should be denied marriage equality.
New Orleans law firm Herman Herman & Katz also joined in filing the suit. Steve Herman, a partner with the firm, said “the ‘Marriage and Conscience Order’ sends a message that same-sex couples, their families and friends, and supportive employers should avoid living, working or visiting Louisiana.”
According to the ACLU, the lawsuit claims that the “Marriage and Conscience Order” creates a class of persons who are protected over others due to their beliefs.
Louisiana Constitution does not allow the governor to create separate rights via executive order and the plaintiffs argue the Marriage and Conscience Order does just that for those who oppose marriage equality.
Marjorie Esman, Executive Director for ACLU of Louisiana, Governor Jindal has violated the Louisiana Constitution by setting up special protections for those who share his belief system.
“In our country, no one is above the law, including the Governor,” Esman said. “He swore to uphold the laws of Louisiana. This lawsuit seeks to hold him to that oath.”
Both Esman and Herman said “the executive order demonstrates a reckless disregard for the law and interests of the people and businesses of Louisiana by interfering with the legislature’s powers and duties without authority, and contrary to the Louisiana Constitution.”