Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal says Christians should be free from 'government coercion' over their religious convictions

Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal vowed to support the Marriage and Conscience Act.Reuters

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said he is "holding firm" in support of a bill that will allow businesses to deny services in line with their religious beliefs on marriage.

Governor Jindal wrote in a column for the New York Times that, given the "changing positions" of the general public with regards to same-sex marriages, he sees it fit to push for the passage of Louisiana's "Marriage and Conscience Act."

The Act is similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) passed by the states of Indiana and Arkansas, and will "prohibit the state from denying a person, company or nonprofit group a licence, accreditation, employment or contract — or taking other 'adverse action' — based on the person or entity's religious views on the institution of marriage."

While the United States government does not force a priest, rabbi or minister to go against his beliefs and perform marriages to same-sex couples, the governor stated that there are people who are not members of the clergy who also feel that they should "live their faith" through their businesses and conduct their trade according to their religious beliefs.

"That's why we should ensure that musicians, caterers, photographers and others should be immune from government coercion on deeply held religious convictions," Jindal stressed.

Jindal dismissed opponents' claims that his Act gives faith-based businesses the right to discriminate against the LGBT community, a challenge that has been made by opponents of the RFRAs in Indiana and Arkansas.

The governor said that the bill would not change the law governing discrimination suits between private parties.

"It merely makes our constitutional freedom so well defined that no judge can miss it," he explained.

Jindal revealed in his article that several corporations contacted him to ask him to oppose the Marriage and Conscience Act.

"They are free to voice their opinions, but they will not deter me," he vowed.