Our Views: Rights bill put on shelf

Regrettably, a legislative committee has shelved a sensible and progressive measure that would have prohibited discrimination against gay and lesbian state workers.

The bill by Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, was shelved by a 6-3 vote of the House and Governmental Affairs Committee.

As Badon and gay-rights activists told the committee, discrimination is alive and well in Louisiana. Unfortunately, Gov. Bobby Jindal declined to renew by executive order a previous state regulation banning discrimination against gay workers for the state.

The Badon bill attracted criticism from the influential Louisiana Family Forum, the conservative lobbying group that is close to Jindal.

What was wrong with Badon’s bill? It did not go far enough.

We believe Louisiana workers should not be discriminated against because of sexual orientation. A law should be enacted forbidding discrimination in workplaces, public and private.

If Louisiana wishes to diversify its economy, such an anti-discrimination measure would be in line with the policies of most national and multinational businesses. And it would be the right thing to do.