The state Legislature is again considering adding protections for LGBT people to the state's workforce discrimination laws.
The Senate Labor Committee voted along party lines – four Democrats in favor, three Republicans against – to advance the proposed Louisiana Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the full Senate for consideration.
Senate Bill 219 would specifically extend the state's non-discrimination law to cover discrimination that's based on a person's age, sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, the state law covers discrimination based on race, color, religion or sex.
That means it would be illegal for most employers to fire someone or refuse to hire someone because they are gay or transgender, with limited exceptions based on religion and other special circumstances.
The bill next heads to the full Senate for consideration where it was shot down in a 11-24 vote last year. If it passes the high Senate hurdle this year, it would then head to the traditionally more conservative House.
The Christian conservative Louisiana Family Forum was the only group to publicly oppose the bill in committee Thursday.