While a majority of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when Indiana amended its religious freedom law to clarify that businesses could not discriminate against gays, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wasn’t so thrilled. The governor, who is considering a 2016 presidential run, said he was “disappointed” with the move to change the Indiana law when he appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning.
When Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Jindal for his opinions on city ordinances that say it’s illegal to discriminate against the LGBT community, Jindal defended the rights of businesses.
This is about business owners that don’t want to have to choose between their Christian faith, their sincerely held religious beliefs and being able to operate their businesses. I was disappointed that you could see Christians and their businesses face discrimination in Indiana. I hope the legislators will fix that and rectify that.
However, he was quick to clarify that he doesn’t think anybody should be discriminated against, as that’s “not what [his] faith teaches [him],” but that he is concerned about the country’s move to create “special legal protections.” Jindal claimed that the law was more about protecting businesses from participating in same-sex weddings, rather than “restaurants denying service to people who want to come to have dinner.”
If it’s a sincerely held religious belief that it offends the owner’s beliefs to participate in that wedding, so absolutely I don’t think that the government should be able to force somebody to contradict their own sincerely held religious beliefs to participate in a wedding ceremony.
Although Jindal has long opposed same-sex marriage because of his religious beliefs, his reaction to the recent religious liberty laws is likely due, in part, to his possible 2016 presidential run. According to Politico, if Jindal decides to run, he would likely be courting the vote of America’s evangelical population, which is also largely the group that supports the recent religious freedom measures.
But pretty soon, Jindal might not just be commenting from a distance. According to The Huffington Post, a Republican state lawmaker recently introduced a religious freedom bill in Louisiana that would allow businesses to refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriage, even if it becomes legal in the state. The Times-Picayune explains that if the law passes, it would allegedly let private companies to opt out of offering same-sex married couples the same benefits that are extended to heterosexual married couples, on the basis of religion.
While this sounds like a law that Jindal might support, based on his statements on Sunday’s Meet the Press, it certainly sounds like a law that the rest of America would probably take issue to, based on the reaction to Indiana’s religious freedom law. If Jindal is serious about a presidential run, he might want to take that into consideration.
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