'Religious Freedom' Legislation Annotated Bibliography

“Federal Judge Blocks Mississippi's 'Religious Objections' Law.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, July 2, 2016, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/07/federal_judge_blocks_misssissi.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

Judge Carlton Reeves in Jackson, MS blocked House Bill 1523 which would have allowed clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and would have allowed businesses to refuse services to members of the LGBT community.​

“Mississippi's religious objection law blocked by federal judge.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Jul 1, 2016, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/07/mississippi_religious_objectio.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

Judge Carlton Reeves in Jackson, MS blocked House Bill 1523 which would have allowed clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and would have allowed businesses to refuse services to members of the LGBT community. Judge Reeves states that the bill favors some religions over others and that the right of a church not to solemnize a couple is already in place. 

Lane, Emily. “Louisiana's religious freedom bill effectively defeated in committee.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 19, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/louisianas_religious_freedom_b.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

A Louisiana House panel defeats House Bill 707. HB 707, also known as the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, would block the government from pulling documents from a company because of their view of same-sex marriage. However, legal experts and LGBT advocates say that it would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT couples. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, said he will push for another vote on the bill while Bobby Jindal is expected to put out an executive order to accomplish the bill

Lane, Emily. “Gov. Bobby Jindal issues religious freedom executive order.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 19, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/gov_bobby_jindal_issues_religi.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

Governor Bobby Jindal issues an executive order which carries out the intent of House Bill 707 (Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act). This executive order blocks the government from pulling documents from a company because of their view of same-sex marriage. Jindal stated that protections needed to be put in place before the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages. However, other legislators and businesspeople believe the order was both discriminatory and would keep business out of Louisiana.  

Leger III, Walter J. “Religious freedom law a 'heterosexuals only' sign for Louisiana: Rep. Walt Leger.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, April 13, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/religious_freedom_law_louisian.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

Leger writes about religion and his belief that religious and moral people would not discriminate. He also writes about the possible economic impact that discriminatory legislation could have, pointing to Indiana as an example.

Lane, Emily. “Gov. Bobby Jindal's religious freedom executive order: What does it actually do?” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 23, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/bobby_jindal_executive_order_r_1.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

This article discusses the broader impact of Bobby Jindal’s executive order. This includes what organizations and people the bill includes, examples of situations it would have affected in other states, its enforceability, and whether the order by Jindal is legal.

O'Donoghue, Julia. “Louisiana legislator will introduce bill to enhance 'religious freedom'.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, March 31, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/louisiana_legislature_religiou.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

Representative Mike Johnson drafts legislation that would protect businesses from having their papers pulled because of their beliefs on same sex marriage. He states that it is not about religious freedom but rather freedom from government discrimination. This article also discusses the ramifications of such a bill and the effects similar legislation has had in other states.

Lane, Emily. “Religious freedom bill sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson: Superman for Louisiana's religious right?” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 15, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/mike_johnson_religious_freedom_1.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

This article discusses Rep. Johnson’s personal history and the background of his faith and how it connects to his political career. Johnson also addresses some of the criticisms of him and the Marriage and Conscience Act. 

O'Donoghue, Julia. “Louisiana has religious freedom law similar to one stirring controversy in Indiana.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, March 30, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/louisiana_religious_freedom_la.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

This article discusses the controversial religious freedom laws in Indiana and its impact on their standing economically. It relates this law to a 2010 law passed in Louisiana and the possible effects it has on the view of Louisiana by the rest of the country. It has a particular focus on New Orleans and the possible implication for it, especially in terms of sporting events.

Lane, Emily. “Louisiana's religious freedom legislation: What does the latest version actually do?” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 19, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/religious_freedom_legislation.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

This article discusses the version of House Bill 707 (Marriage and Conscience Act) that was set to be voted on. It discusses the discriminatory nature of the original bill and brings into question how the amended version would be implemented. It particularly focuses on a key phrase in the bill which some believe is what made it discriminatory.

Samuels, Diana. “Louisiana religious freedom bill author a 'despicable bigot,' Baton Rouge council member says.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, April 17, 2015, www.nola.com/news/baton-rouge/index.ssf/2015/04/louisiana_religious_freedom_ib.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

Baton Rouge Metro Councilman John Delgado called Representative Mike Johnson a "despicable bigot of the highest order" in response to his Marriage and Consciousness Bill (House Bill 707). This was triggered by the news of IBM writing a letter to Bobby Jindal about the legislation. In this article Rep. Johnson’s response is recorded and he addresses the points made by Delgado.

O'Donoghue, Julia. “Dow Chemical opposes Louisiana religious freedom bill.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 19, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/dow_chemical_company_opposes_l.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

Dow Chemical releases a statement regarding House Bill 707 in which Earl Shipp, the vice president of Dow Gulf Coast advocates for a system build for economic growth rather than division of people. This article talks about the effect the bill would have on the business industry of Louisiana, particularly New Orleans.

Lane, Emily. “Bobby Jindal's religious freedom executive order: How will it impact business and tourism in Louisiana?” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, June 1, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/bobby_jindal_religious_freedom_3.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

This article discusses the differing viewpoints on how Bobby Jindal’s executive order may affect business and tourism in the state of Louisiana. Many figures spoke out about Jindal’s order and said they hoped that the rest of the country would see that the legislature took a stand while others stated that the legislation would not hurt tourism because it was meaningless. However, some believed that regardless of meaning or application the view of Louisiana as discriminatory would hurt business. 

Greenberg, Gabriel. “A religious case against Louisiana's religious freedom bill: Rabbi Gabriel Greenberg.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, April 24, 2015, www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2015/04/religious_freedom_louisiana.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

A Metairie rabbi speaks about his view of gay marriage and the Marriage and Conscience Act. His belief is that despite your religious view of gay marriage, you should fight for those who have been discriminated against. He ties this back to the persecution of Jews in Egypt.

O'Donoghue, Julia. “Louisiana religious freedom bill and gay marriage: Where the gubernatorial candidates stand.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, April 15, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/louisiana_governors_race_relig.html. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.

This article discusses the opinion of 2015 gubernatorial candidates on House Bill 707. 

Lane, Emily. “Louisiana's religious freedom bill: Even LGBT advocates consider it a 'distraction'.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, April 23, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/lgbt_religious_freedom_gay_mar.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Member of the Baton Rouge LGBT community meet at LSU and discuss their feelings surrounding House Bill 707 and discuss how to handle the legislative hearing on the bill. They also discuss whether their efforts would be better spent supporting pro-LGBT rights legislation, as well as whether the bill is a distraction.

McClendon, Robert. “Government can, should, support religion, Justice Antonin Scalia tells Metairie crowd.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Feb 16, 2016, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/government_can_should_support.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Antonin Scalia states to a group of Catholic high schoolers that the First Amendment gives freedom to religion but not freedom from religion. He states that favor can’t be given to certain religious sects but that the government can favor religion over non-religion.

“Sex offenders in Indiana sue for right to worship, cite Religious Freedom Act.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, July 02, 2015, www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2015/07/sex_offenders_in_indiana_sue_f.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) files a lawsuit on behalf of two sex offenders who were barred from attending a church with an attached school, citing religious freedom legislation. This issue arose when stricter sex offender laws took effect (on the same day the religious freedom bill took effect). 

“Mississippi governor: 'Secular' world angry over LGBT law.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Jun 1, 2016,www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/05/mississippi_governor_secular_w.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant says that the “secular progressive world” is angry over a bill he signed allowing for clerks to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It also discusses roadblocks to the bill – named House Bill 1532 – becoming law.

“John Bel Edwards moves Louisiana toward inclusiveness with LGBT order: Editorial.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Jul 29, 2016, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/04/louisiana_same_sex_rights.html. Accessed 21Nov 2017.

Governor John Bell Edwards signs an executive order guaranteeing protections for individuals in the LGBT community. He also reversed an executive order by Bobby Jindal which allowed businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples. It notably explicitly included trans people. The article also contrasts Louisiana’s progressive legislation with neighboring Mississippi.

O'Donoghue, Julia. “Bobby Jindal condemns Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, June 26, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/bobby_jindal_condemns_supreme.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Bobby Jindal released a statement regarding the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling in which he vows to focus on religious liberties, the first amendment, and states’ rights. His full statement is included in the article.

O'Donoghue, Julia. “'Pastor protection' bill LGBT community opposes overwhelmingly passes Louisiana House.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Apr 20, 2016, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/04/louisiana_house_overwhelmingly.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

This article discussed House Bill 957 which was created by Representative Mike Johnson in order to protect churches, clergy, and religious groups from having to support same-sex marriages. It discusses the argument that it’s unnecessary legislation as well as the fears that it will affect tourism and business.

McGauhy, Lauren. “Bobby Jindal administration weighs in on Sabine Parish religious harassment lawsuit.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, February 18, 2014, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/02/bobby_jindal_religion_sabine_b.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit against Sabine Parish School Board regarding a Buddhist student who faced religious discrimination. Bobby Jindal had been running on religious freedom so his response was highly anticipated.

Lane, Emily. “Last clerk in Louisiana blocking same-sex marriage licenses has religious objection.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, June 30, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/06/gay_marriage_louisiana_red_riv.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017. 

Red River Parish Clerk of Court Stuart Shaw was the last in the state who was refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, citing his religious objection as well as waiting for the 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals to rule on Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban. He was represented pro bono by Representative Mike Johnson.

Lane, Emily. “Gov. Bobby Jindal's executive order 'overreaching and more than likely unenforceable': Rep. Walt Leger.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 20, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/bobby_jindal_executive_order_w.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger questions whether the executive order by Bobby Jindal, meant to imitate failed House Bill 707, is enforceable. His full statement is in the article, but in it he stated that the order was a waste of resources. Jindal’s spokeswoman says the order is enforceable.

 

Dreilinger, Danielle. “Religious group sets 'Bring Your Bible to School Day' for Oct. 8.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, September 23, 2015, www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2015/09/bible_school_focus_family.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Focus on the Family encouraged school children to bring bibles to school. This comes amid controversy over Bobby Jindal’s focus on religious freedom. 

“New Orleans is a community of inclusion and tolerance: Editorial.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 24, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/marriage_conscience_executive.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu signs an executive order barring discrimination against LGBT individuals after Governor Bobby Jindal signed the “Marriage and Conscience” executive order. Landrieu wanted to send a message that New Orleans is an inclusive city. The economic effects of anti-LGBT legislation are also discussed.

“Mississippi's bill on denial of services to LGBT gets muted business opposition.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Apr 6, 2016, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/04/mississippi_religious_freedom.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Mississippi passes a law allowing businesses to discriminate against people in the LGBT community. Because Mississippi has no Fortune 500 businesses or technological firms there is less backlash than was received in other states. This article discusses this as well as the likely course of action for those who are marginalized because of the bill.

McClendon, Robert. “Listen to Justice Antonin Scalia's Metairie speech defending government support of religion.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Jan 9, 2016, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/listen_to_justice_antonin_scal.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

An audio recording of Antonin Scalia’s speech at Archbishop Rummel High School is contained here with time-stamped notes.

O'Donoghue, Julia. “'We will get prayer back in our schools,' Attorney General Jeff Landry says.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, Sep 23, 2017, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/09/jeff_landry_school_prayer.html. Accessed 21Nov 2017.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry vowed at the Louisiana Family Forum gala that he would “get prayer back in public schools.” The Louisiana Family Forum is a conservative Christian organization. This article also reviews cases surrounding prayer in public school as well as Landry’s involvement in and views on religion in public places

“LGBT workplace discrimination forbidden under Louisiana proposal, but prospects seem dim.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, May 9, 2017, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/05/lgbt_discrimination.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

State Senator Troy Carter introduces Louisiana Senate Bill 155, which would put in place protections from workplace discrimination for members of the LGBT community. It was the third time Senator Carter had entered such legislation. This article discusses the debates surrounding this and similar bills as well as progress towards equality in Louisiana.

Alpert, Bruce. “Supporters of bill to protect rights of same-sex marriage foes open to compromise.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, July 23, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/07/supporters_of_bill_to_protects.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

The “First Amendment Defense Act” was drafted in order to protect churches and religious organizations which are opposed to same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds. Members of congress felt there was a need to edit the bill to avoid sparking major controversy. In this article the debate over amending the bill and the scope of the bill are addressed. 

Quinlan, Adriane. “More Americans think religion should play bigger role in politics: Pew Research poll.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, September 23, 2014, www.nola.com/religion/index.ssf/2014/09/more_americans_think_religion.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

This article is an analysis of a Pew Research poll which found a rise in Americans who believe that religion should play a role in the government. It also found that more Americans view homosexuality as a sin.

Alpert, Bruce. “Scalise, Vitter and Cassidy sponsor bill barring government from 'punishing' same-sex marriage foes.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, July 10, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/07/scalise_vitter_and_cassidy_sig.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

Five Louisiana congressional members cosponsor the First Amendment Defense Act, which would stop the federal government from penalizing businesses which deny services based upon the same-sex marital status. This article discusses the opposing viewpoints of those who support and oppose the bill.

O'Donoghue, Julia. “Can a same-sex couple be declined service by a business in Louisiana? Yes, they can.” The Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, August 4, 2015, www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/08/can_you_deny_services_to_a_sam.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2017.

O’Donoghue discusses the decision by the owner of Houma Bakery to not serve a same sex couple. She specifically focuses on the top of public perception vs. legality. She also discusses the protections same sex couples do and do not have in Louisiana, particularly with respect to location and business size and possible legal challenges to those protections.

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