Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal – famous for delivering the rebuttal to Obama’s address to Congress in 2009 – is throwing his support behind a bill opposing same-sex marriage under the guise of the ‘religious objections bill’.
In an interview on Thursday, Jindal described the bill (called the ‘Marriage and Conscience Act’) as an attempt to protect Christians morally opposed to same-sex marriage from what he views as discrimination efforts by advocates of same-sex marriage. The bill would not allow the state to deny any resident or business a license, benefits or tax deductions because they acted ‘in a accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction’ about marriage.
‘Religious liberty is not just about the ability to pray a couple of hours a week,’ Jindal said at the interview. ‘Religious liberty is about being able to live your life seven days a week according to your beliefs.’
Jindal and Representative Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, both claim that the bill does not condone discrimination against LGBT people. The bill, however, leaves room for intense disagreement and debate on both sides of the aisle.
Jindal was asked to explain how this law differs from previous laws found unconstitutional for allowing religious belief to trump the civil rights of racial minorities.
‘I personally think it is offensive to compare Catholics, evangelical Christians and others that are trying to obey their teachings, their churches’ teachings, their conscience, to racists, to bigots. I know a lot of people are changing their views on [same-sex marriage], but I think it would be wrong to compare … them to racists, to bigots.’
Same-sex marriage is unconstitutional according to the state of Louisiana, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
The Supreme Court is set to rule on a case that could strike down same-sex marriage bans across the United States this summer.