Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards, working to undo years of anti-LGBTQ state bigotry instituted by previous Republican governors like Bobby Jindal, signed an executive order in April guaranteeing tolerance to all LGBTQ people when interacting with state government. One part of that state government, is refusing to follow the order. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, an elected official like Edwards who once said about trans people that "the good lord doesn’t build us in that particular way," has rejected some 30 state contracts for various governmental agencies because they include language protecting LGBTQ citizens of Louisiana.
"He basically told me that if I wanted him to approve those contracts that I would have to sue him," Edwards said on Friday according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "So I'm obliging him on that."
Landry has claimed that he rejected the contracts because the state legislature had previously failed to pass measures similar to Edwards' executive order. He's previously argued that he doesn't have to follow Edwards' executive order, saying, "There is no constitutional or statutory provision in Louisiana banning discrimination on the basis of 'gender identity'" and that Edwards has overstepped his constitutional authority "by attempting to create new legislation in violation of the separation of powers," according to Gambit Weekly, New Orleans' alt-weekly.
A court date has been set for October 16th.
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.