O’Donnell Statement Calling for Louisiana Travel Ban In Response to Governor Jindal’s Discriminatory Executive Order

Outraged over Governor Bobby Jindal’s executive order yesterday to enable state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT residents of Louisiana, Assembly Member O’Donnell sent a letter calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban all non-essential state-funded travel to Louisiana. In his letter, he praised Governor Cuomo for issuing such a ban when Indiana passed a similarly discriminatory law, and requested the same action again:

It’s time to instate a travel ban on Louisiana. Following the failure of legislation there that would have enabled state-sponsored discrimination against LGBT citizens under the guise of religious freedom, Governor Bobby Jindal has issued an executive order seeking the same despicable ends as the bill.

When the state of Indiana passed legislation which similarly targeted its LGBT citizens, I was very proud and appreciative that you banned non-essential travel to the Hoosier state. It was a strong statement demonstrating New York’s progressive leadership on human rights and the belief that all citizens deserve to be treated equally—as our country’s Constitution guarantees and founding fathers intended.

I ask that you take this step again and ban non-essential state travel to Louisiana. Our state’s employees should not be put in a situation where they can be legally discriminated against or made to feel unsafe, and our state must not support Governor Jindal’s campaign against LGBT individuals. We must move our business to places that treat their citizens equally and fairly.

In March of this year, Assembly Member O’Donnell advocated for a travel ban against Indiana because of its own discriminatory law. At that time he pointed out,

This law comes on the heels of an important victory for the national Marriage Equality movement. Indiana legalized same-sex marriage in October 2014. This is a hate-filled reaction to that law. Social change is not linear, often involving one step forward, two steps back. However, we must keep the momentum moving forward by speaking up and using our economic and political power to express the overwhelming will of the majority of Americans; equal protection of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, or religion.