Monday, May 19, 2014

Take Action: Tell your legislators that it's time to #BeFairLouisiana!

There is less than a month left in the the Louisiana legislative session, and tomorrow Forum for Equality and Louisiana NOW is moving forward with the Louisiana Nondiscrimination Act (LANA) authored by Senator Edwin Murray in the Senate Judiciary A committee.

We worked closely with Sen. Murray and the Advocacy Center on the comprehensive language of LANA (SB 164). SB 164, if it becomes law, will protect LGBT people living and working in Louisiana from discrimination in housing, employment, and accommodations.

 Here’s what you need to know about SB 164: It updates over 60 existing nondiscrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, as well as 40 existing laws to include age, sex and disability. SB 164 adds disability and aging protections and expands protections to include people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. Areas of protection include housing, higher education, income tax credits, real estate activities, insurance, and licensure of counselors, social workers, rehabilitation counselors, nurses and others.

It doesn’t create 'new' law. Rather, it would make a large number of small yet incredibly important fixes to existing law. Additionally, SB 164 defines “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” for the first time within Louisiana law. This commonsense legislation costs the state nothing and can only benefit Louisiana as it attempts to attract the best workers, residents and companies.

Two of the largest employers in Louisiana, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Dow Chemical already have nondiscrimination policies in place that include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. They know it’s good for business, and you do too. Tell your legislators to support this important piece of legislation by clicking here.

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