Attorney General Jeff Landry defends his all-out legal crusade to block Gov. John Bel Edwards' executive order requiring that state contractors not discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees by noting that the Legislature has not deemed these individuals a protected class.

That's a weak argument, for governments have the right to set conditions for contractors beyond what they impose on businesses at large, and do so all the time. Plus, the Legislature has not prohibited such a requirement. 

Still, if any Louisiana lawmakers were inclined to try to affirmatively enshrine the right not to face on-the-job discrimination, they probably wouldn't face as much blowback as they fear. By a surprisingly wide margin, newly released numbers from the 2017 Louisiana survey conducted by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication put the public on the side of mandating protection.

More than three-fourths of the 1,012 Louisiana adults interviewed said they support a state law to protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals from discrimination in their jobs on the basis of their sexual orientation. And nearly as many, 70 percent, said they support such protection for transgender people.

Govs. Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards enacted similar orders, but John Bel Edwards' order is the first to also cover transgender people.

And while Landry's clearly playing to his socially conservative base, the poll shows that where this issue is concerned, the governor's the one who has his finger on the state's pulse.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.