IBM Tells Louisiana Gov. That Religious Freedom Bill “Is Antithetical To Our Company’s Values”


As Louisiana gears up to join Indiana and other states with hypocritical “religious freedom” laws, IBM has let Republican governor Bobby Jindal know its not on board with Louisiana House Bill 707—which it says “legally protects discrimination based on same sex marriage status.”

Related: Wilco Calls Religious Freedom Restoration Act “Legal Discrimination,” Cancels Indiana Show

Written by GOP state representative Mike Johnson, HB 707  prohibits the state from penalizing a business if its actions are done “accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage.”


Well, it turns out IBM is getting ready to expand in Louisiana—adding at least 400 new jobs in Monroe—and they’re none-too-pleased with this blatantly anti-gay bill.

Jason Driesse, IBM Senior State Executive, penned a letter to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal last week. “A bill that legally protects discrimination based on same-sex marriage status will create a hostile environment for our current and prospective employees and is antithetical to our company’s values,” he wrote.  “IBM will find it much harder to attract talent to Louisiana if this bill is passed and enacted into law.”

Driesse went on to highlight the importance of diversity in IBM’s business culture.

Our perspective is grounded in IBM’s 104-year history and our deep legacy of diversity and inclusion — a legacy to which we remain strongly committed today. IBM is opposed to discrimination against anyone on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other protected categories.

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Governor Jindal, of course, immediately defended of HB 707.

The Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act will absolutely not ‘protect discrimination’ or legalize discrimination in any way.

H.B. 707 simply seeks to ensure the state does not take adverse action against a person because of a religious belief in traditional marriage. The bill absolutely does not provide for an individual or business owner to discriminate against gays or lesbians. It does not gives businesses or individuals the right to refuse service to gays or lesbians.

Are we supposed to take your word for it, Governor?

h/t: The Advertiser