Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal may not be a fan of President Barack Obama's executive orders, but he does not mind using them himself to pass legislation. The Republican politician, who has been an outspoken critic of the president's immigration executive actions, enacted a controversial "religious freedom" measure after the bill failed in the state's house.
The Marriage and Conscience Act, which is being compared to the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) of Indiana and Arkansas, would ban "the state from taking any adverse action against a person on the basis that such person acted in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about marriage."
Jindal criticised the state house for failing to pass the Bill. "We are disappointed by the committee's action to return the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act to the calendar," the potential 2016 candidate said in a statement. "We will be issuing an Executive Order shortly that will...prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman."
According to the Washington Post, critics of the act say that this will allow Louisiana businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers. Large companies, from Apple to Walmart, however are using their economic powers to fight against the executive order.
"A bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and prospective employees, and is antithetical to our company's values," IBM's senior state executive Jason Driesse said in a statement, The Guardian reported.
Dow Gulf Coast echoed those concerns in a statement released by vice president Earl Shipp, saying, "We call upon our legislative leaders to focus on making our state more competitive and economically sound instead of taking actions that divide us as citizens."
Despite his own use of executive orders to push his agenda ahead, Jindal has previously spoken against President Obama's use of executive action on immigration reform.
"Granting amnesty by executive order is wrong," he wrote in a 2014 statement. "It will incentivise more of this illegal immigration. If the President wants to make the case that the law should be changed, he should go make the case to Congress and our people. This is an arrogant, cynical political move by the President, and it's why so many Americans no longer trust this President to solve the problems we face."
Jindal defended his executive order in a series of tweets on 20 May. "This EO will prevent LA from discriminating against people, charities and family-owned businesses with deeply held religious beliefs," he tweeted. "We don't support discrimination in Louisiana and we do support religious liberty. These two values can be upheld at the same time."
"Diversity of belief and religious liberty are the foundation of our law and Constitution and they should be protected," he continued. "As long as I'm Governor, we will fight to protect religious liberty and not apologise for it."