LOUISIANA (KSLA) - Less than a week after State Representative Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, filed House Bill 707, members of the Louisiana Progress Action and Equality Louisiana have launched a campaign to oppose it.
The bill, referred to as the "Marriage and Conscience Act," was filed Friday and has since raised a lot of attention and discussion. If passed, the new law would prevent adverse treatment by the state of any person or entity on the basis of views they may hold with regard to the institution of marriage.
But, some say a paragraph in the bill is concerning. The paragraph in question, proposed R.S. 13:5245(B)(4), refers to federal qualifications for employee benefit plans. Johnson says he included it only as an acknowledgment and restatement of the existing law.
On Tuesday, Johnson announced his plan to delete the controversial portion of the bill.
"Over the past six days, Louisiana Progress Action and Equality Louisiana have activated their bases to take action against HB 707: The Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act by Representative Mike Johnson. In conjunction with the phone calls and emails from people all across the state, we are proud to officially launch the 'Not My Louisiana Campaign,'" says Parker.
Parker says "Not My Louisiana" is an action and information center where residents can find updates on the campaign, information about HB 707 and ways to take action for equality. He also says more than 25 organizations have backed the campaign and have signed on as campaign partners. Among those who have signed on as campaign partners are PACE, PRIDE 1 Baton Rouge, PFLAG of Greater Baton Rouge, Pride NSU and several more.
"At the end of the day though, it's the good people of Louisiana who will make the biggest impact on whether our state will legalize discrimination," says Parker.
The campaign also features a petition that campaign partners are encouraging people to sign.