Not-yet-announced presidential candidate Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is going after corporate and LGBT bullies in the fight over religious freedom and gay marriage.
Jindal tells the New York Times that “…large corporations recently joined left-wing activists to bully elected officials into back away from strong protections for religious liberty.”
He says he was disappointed to see “conservative leaders so hastily retreat on legislation that would simply allow an individual or business to claim a right to free exercise of religion in a court of law.”
Jindal is very clearly calling out Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, who also may announce for president, and who within hours caved in to criticism from the gay lobby and powerful corporations, including Apple, on the question of religious freedom and same-sex marriage.
Jindal practically dares major corporations to try his state, “I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying out state: Save your breath.”
Though Louisiana has a religious freedom law dating back four years, Jindal says he intends to pursue something call the Marriage and Conscience Act, which would “prohibit the state from denying a person, company of nonprofit group a license, accreditation, employment or contract — or taking other ‘adverse action’ — based on the person or entity’s religious views on the institution of marriage.”
Some corporations have already pushed Jindal to oppose the legislation. “I am certain that other companies, under pressure from radical liberals, will do the same. They are free to voice their opinions, but they will not deter me.” Jindal insists the bill does not “create a right to discriminate against, or generally refuse service to gay men or lesbians,” a charge made by corporations and activists in Indiana and Arkansas.
Jindal calls on conservatives to understand that those groups going after people and entities for their opposition to gay marriage and religious freedom are the same “left-wing ideologues…who seek to tax and regulate businesses out of existence. The same people who think that profit making is vulgar believe that religiosity is folly.”
“The fight against this misguided, government-dictating ideology is one fight, not two” and warns conservatives about corporations who seek to “rip our coalition in half,” he says.
Marriage activist Maggie Gallagher, writing at the must-read blog of the American Principles Project, challenged other candidates, announced and unannounced, to come out as strongly as Jindal. She says, “Kudos, kudos, kudos to Jindal. Who else will step up to the plate? It is only the question of whether the Judeo-Christian ethic in America will be tolerated or whether government will be used to punish and strip the livelihoods of people who cannot in conscience serve a particular marriage.”
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse