Can Jindal’s Religious Freedom Executive Order Win Him the Presidency?
Louisiana’s Religious Liberty bill failed, but can Governor Bobby Jindal’s Executive Order lead his presidential campaign to the Oval Office?
Debate on same-sex marriage is reaching new levels in the United States – this time in Louisiana. Preparing for his presidential campaign, Governor Bobby Jindal is positioning himself as a defender of religious freedom with an executive order that gives special protections to people who oppose same-sex marriage.
Jindal issued the executive order after the Louisiana House of Representatives committee last week voted down a proposal by GOP Rep. Mike Johnson for a similar bill. Jindal’s executive order prohibits the state of Louisiana from “denying or revoking a tax exemption, tax deduction, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, professional license, certification, accreditation, or employment on the basis the person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
According to some political analysts, the rejection of Johnson’s bill and the executive order that followed have given Jindal a potential presidential campaign issue especially among the conservative Christians in America. Critics have said that the executive order is practically of no use because of limits on Jindal’s power through executive order. Jindal himself has said that “we don’t support discrimination in Louisiana and we support religious liberty. These two values can be upheld at the same time.”
Jindal announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee during the same week as Johnson’s bill was tabled in the House committee. A group associated with Jindal published an ad Iowa at the same, in which the governor was presented as a defender of religious rights.
Jindal is the first American Indian governor in the United States. He is currently also the Vice Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.