Screen shot from WBRZ-TV of Gov. Bobby Jindal and state Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, announcing a
Screen shot from WBRZ-TV of Gov. Bobby Jindal and state Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, announcing a “religious freedom” executive order on Tuesday.

By Robert Mann

By now, much of the United States knows that our governor has formally sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians in Louisiana. Bobby Jindal is trying to put Louisiana on the map as nation’s most bigoted state, all under the guise of “religious freedom.”

I’ll let the business executives, tourism officials and others comment on the damage Jindal’s executive order will do to the state’s economy.

Today, however, I’m thinking about the pain that so many Louisiana gays and lesbians are enduring. Their governor, ostensibly on behalf of the people of Louisiana, has issued an executive order protecting any business that choses to discriminate against gays and lesbians based on that business owner’s “religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

Jindal, in effect, has issued a license to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

In December 2013, after Phil Robertson of the TV show “Duck Dynasty” made his abhorrent comments about gays and lesbians, I wrote a column about the pain that Robertson’s remarks likely inflicted on Louisiana’s young gay people, many of them still in the closet, not yet out to their family members or closest friends.

Jindal’s full embrace of bigotry on Tuesday made me think again of the pain that so many gays and lesbians are feeling across our state — all for the sake of Jindal’s hopeless presidential aspirations.

I commend this column to you again, because I think it is worth pausing for a few moments to consider the potential consequences of what Jindal has done and the repercussions among our state’s young gays and lesbians:

Does she know it will get better? She won’t hear it from the Duck Commander

Somewhere in Ouachita Parish, just a few miles from the rural home of Phil Robertson of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” fame, lives a teenage girl. As she drives about town, she probably spots signs sprouting in neighbors’ yards. They proclaim, “Freedom of Speech. I support Phil Robertson.”

Of course, there are no signs that say, “I agree with Phil. Gays are evil” or “Phil’s right. Jesus can cure your homosexuality.”

The messages are clear, nonetheless. These people declare solidarity with a man who said, as recently as 2010, that gays are “ruthless,” “full of murder,” “arrogant” and tend to “invent ways of doing evil.”

In addition to his more-recent hurtful remarks about homosexuals in a GQ magazine interview, an unrepentant Robertson told members of his West Monroe church last Sunday, “Jesus will take sins away. If you’re a homosexual, he’ll take it away. If you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference?”

That young woman knows what Robertson has said. It’s the talk of the town. She also understands that thousands of people in her hometown support him and his views. Perhaps she’s heard her own pastor denounce homosexuality from the pulpit.

The episode has been painful and troubling to her in ways she cannot express. That’s because her parents, her siblings and her friends aren’t aware of something important about this lovely, lonely young woman.

She is a lesbian.

For years, she’s heard schoolmates snicker at tasteless jokes about people like her. She knows many of them believe homosexuality is a perversion.

When she experienced her first stirrings of attraction to girls, it scared her. She denied her feelings. At first, she dated a few boys to ensure that no one would suspect that she is anything but “straight.”

But she knows the truth about herself and cannot tell a soul. In her small town, she fears the consequences of coming out. She’s afraid friends might shun her. Worst of all, she worries her family may banish her.

So, she suffers in silence, trying to suppress her sexual feelings. Sometimes, late at night, she cries herself to sleep,begging God to make her “normal.” She doesn’t want to be gay, not in Ouachita Parish, now home to one of America’s most famous anti-gay activists.

But she is who she is. She knows that Jesus himself cannot change who she was born to be.

More than anything, she wants her family to know her – the real her. She wants them to accept her and love her for who she is.

She dreams of the day when she can escape Ouachita Parish for New Orleans or New York, or any place where she might find acceptance and tolerance. She longs to experience the joy of sharing her life with someone she loves deeply.

Continue reading on at this link.

17 thoughts on “A day of agony, anger for Louisiana’s gays and lesbians

    1. ETA: As despicable as this is, nothing surprises me with Jindal. He’s like a yappy chihuahua nagging for a treat (grasping, in other words), and it’s absolutely embarrassing.


  1. While there are certainly homophobes among Jindal’s supporters, I think many look at this one in the same simple way they look at his other hot-button issues. They understand and care about only 2 words in this issue, “religious freedom.” They neither know nor care about the negative implications of the law, had it passed, or his executive order, if issued. If questioned about it, they would answer, “Governor Jindal is for religious freedom. So am I. What’s the matter with that?” Asked about his position on Islam, President Obama, Taxes, etc., they would give the same kind of simple answers.

    Since most of the people he is focusing on are at a great geographic remove from Louisiana, they are not reading our local paper. Anything negative they read in national publications can be easily dismissed as liberal media garbage. Anything they read on blogs can be rejected or accepted, based on how it foots with their closely-held beliefs.

    I think this is just another of his publicity stunts. I’m not convinced Governor Jindal has any personal convictions about anything beyond self-aggrandizement.


  2. NOW is the time to embarrass and remove this divisive individual!
    Sign the petition: Recall Governor Bobby Jindal
    I just signed a petition to Governor Bobby Jindal: If you are a registered voter in the state of Louisiana, please sign this petition to recall Governor Bobby Jindal.


  3. P. S. All the next governor has to do is rescind Jindal’s executive order day 1 and it’s toast – not that anybody with the ostensible power to use it to discriminate is likely to pay much attention to it anyhow. If you think about it, we are all helping his cause by continuing to talk about it.


  4. honestly”christians” ever heard of judge not least ye be judge? hate the sin not the sinner. if anything else is done then your not very good following our Lords teaching


    1. I’m sure my opinion will not be well received here but has anyone ever heard of separation of church and state? You can not force people to go against their religion. And it’s not just christian religions that don’t believe in homosexuality. Muslims have taken a hard stance against this topic as well. I don’t see people ever talking about how Muslims are discriminating. Probably because gay and lesbians don’t go to Muslim bakers to get their wedding cakes so they wouldn’t know this. I believe something should be done to give homosexuals the same benefits from marriage that heterosexuals receive, however, infringing on someone’s religious beliefs is far from the answer!


    2. People are born the way they are born it’s not a choice God made them that way is that in your religious teachings


  5. Reblogged this on imheretosurvive and commented:
    I feel as if somehow this isn’t constitutional. He granting people the power on infringing on the rights of the LGBT under the guise of religious freedom. I can’t help but see the similarities of this and the Jim Crow era segregation laws. Can I not serve Blacks if it’s against my moral, values, or religious beliefs?


  6. Reblogged this on Loving Ryan and commented:
    This is my home state and now the home of my biggest secret. “Nope, I am not from Louisiana. Must have the wrong girl”. So much hate, so much venom for something that is none of your or my business. Love is Love. Equality is Equality. If that offends you, if you believe in the hate spewed by Bobby Jindal and his idiots then happily go fuck yourself.


  7. I understand the damage this anti-LGBT crap can do over time, the high rates of teen suicide and homelessness, adult LGBT people working through their internalized homophobia.

    On the other hand, these are the last desperate political acts of religious conservatives who know they’ve lost this particular issue in their culture war, they are incapable of inflicting agony or pain on most of us. I’m not even angry these days, just disgusted that it continues.


  8. “If you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference?”

    … So you wake up one day and just stop lying and cheating? I love how trying to be happy and accepting people is compared to infidelity and deceit! What a joke


  9. Excellent article and yes, there are many more out there. You hit the nail on the head! I am a teacher and see it every day, not to mention those who committed suicide because of ignorant, red neck, beliefs. So sad our kids see this!


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