Thanks But No Thanks, Jeff
Sometimes it seems like Attorney General Jeff Landry just can’t get enough of us (or you, either, if you’re also trans and/or queer). On days like today, when news broke that Landry has “rejected all state legal contracts that have been sent to him since the middle of August” because they include LGBTQ nondiscrimination language, it’s obvious that his obsession with queer and trans people is getting in the way of his ability to do his job. His repeated rejection of routine state contracts that include routine nondiscrimination clauses has left several state departments hanging “in limbo” – and while we’re flattered by the attention, we wish he wouldn’t.
Louisiana Trans Advocates and Equality Louisiana worked closely with the Edwards administration on the LGBTQ nondiscrimination executive order, which established the first statewide protections that transgender people in Louisiana have ever had. It states simply that those doing business with the state cannot discriminate against LGBTQ people in hiring and firing decisions – language that now appears in the contracts that firms and companies sign with state. In 2016, these basic protections are standard practice for businesses across the country, including 89% of the Fortune 500 and every company that contracts with the federal government.
We’re extremely proud of and confident in our work, but we’re somewhat baffled by all the sound and fury it has generated from AG Landry. The Edwards order is very similar not only to previous examples from our own state (Gov. Edwin Edwards and Gov. Kathleen Blanco both issued LGB-protective orders), but also to many other executive orders in states across the country. AG Landry’s insistence that somehow Louisiana’s order is completely powerless is certainly a new approach to opposing LGBTQ rights, but no more likely to succeed for its novelty.
AG Landry should do his job, which in this case is solely to ensure that the private attorneys hired to handle Louisiana’s legal business are appropriately qualified. Rejecting standard contracts and gumming up the works of the state is a waste of everyone’s time.
We’re grateful to the Edwards administration for their commitment to fostering the diversity that makes our state great, and we look forward to working with them in the years to come. But AG Landry, we’re just not that into you.
the LTA and EQLA teams