Mayor Issues Executive Order Affirming Discrimination Will Not Be Tolerated In New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued an executive order Thursday aimed at clarifying to the nation that New Orleans is a welcoming city where discrimination in any form is not tolerated. The order comes on the heels of Governor Bobby Jindal signing an executive order this week that includes much of the same language as legislation that a House committee recently rejected by an overwhelming bipartisan vote.

         “With this executive order, I am issuing a clarifying call to the nation that New Orleans is an accepting, inviting city that thrives on its diversity and welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms,” said Mayor Landrieu. “In New Orleans, we believe religious liberty and freedoms should be protected and discrimination prohibited, and we have passed our own laws to reflect that principle. This executive order is an important, symbolic affirmation that discrimination in any form will not be tolerated in New Orleans – and it should not be tolerated anywhere in Louisiana.”

         Landrieu’s executive order is designed to address backlash to the Governor’s order, which has led some states to consider banning non-essential travel to Louisiana and could adversely affect the state’s and city’s ability to attract jobs, large conventions and major special events, such as the Super Bowl.

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         The executive order recognizes that Louisiana has already passed the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act in 2010, which prohibits government intrusion into a person’s exercise of religion, and that current code in New Orleans prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The order calls on all City departments, commissions, boards, and agencies to take cognizance and comply with all anti-discrimination laws of the City of New Orleans.

         The text of the Executive Order is below:

 

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EXECUTIVE ORDER

 

MJL 15-01

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         WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans is proud to be a culturally rich community of faith, inclusion, tolerance, and diversity;

 

         WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans is proud to foster an environment for its residents, visitors, and businesses that is welcoming, just and inclusive;

 

         WHEREAS, the free exercise of religion in the City of New Orleans, including religious beliefs relating to marriage, is both a constitutionally protected right, and a matter of paramount importance to the fabric of New Orleans;

 

         WHEREAS, the freedom against discrimination on any basis is a matter of equal paramount importance to the fabric of New Orleans;

 

         WHEREAS, in 2010 Louisiana enacted the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act which prohibits governmental burden of a person’s exercise of religion;

 

         WHEREAS, New Orleans City Code Chapter 86 currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and any public accommodation based on race, creed, national origin or ancestry, color, religion, gender or sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital status, age, physical condition or disability;

 

         WHEREAS, to the extent permitted by law, contracts entered into by the City of New Orleans contain a requirement that City contractors, consultants or partners will not, in the performance of the contract, discriminate or retaliate, in fact or in perception, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, culture, ancestral history, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or domestic partner status, physical or mental disability, or AIDS- or HIV-status;

 

         WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans appropriately balances religious beliefs of all kinds with civil liberties, including freedom from discrimination.

 

         NOW, THEREFORE, I, MITCHELL J. LANDRIEU, BY THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME as Mayor of the City of New Orleans by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana and the Home Rule Charter and laws of the City of New Orleans, HEREBY ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

 

         Purpose: The purpose of this Executive Order is to confirm for the residents of the City of New Orleans, its businesses and visitors that religious beliefs are protected from unjustified governmental burden, but that there is no tolerance in the City of New Orleans for discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin or ancestry, color, religion, gender or sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital or domestic partner status, age, physical condition or disability.

         All departments, commissions, boards, agencies of the City are authorized and directed to take cognizance of and comply with this Executive Order and the anti-discrimination laws of the City of New Orleans.

         Effective Date: This Executive Order is effective upon the date of its issuance.

 

         Signed,

 

         Mitchell J. Landrieu

 

         May 21, 2015

 

         For more information

 

 

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