Main | Thursday, April 09, 2015

LOUISIANA: New Orleans Tourism Bureau Comes Out Against RFRA Bill

The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has issued a statement denouncing the pending RFRA bill in Louisiana. Via the Times-Picayune:
"The adoption of certain types of overreaching, problematic and divisive legislation in Louisiana has the possibility of threatening our state's third largest industry and creating economic losses pushing past a billion dollars a year and costing us tens of thousands of jobs," said Stephen Perry, president of the organization in a written statement. The bill's author, state Rep. Mike Johnson, has already made some adjustments to his legislation, but Perry is asking that Johnson scrap the bill entirely -- or risk doing damage to New Orleans's reputation as a friendly travel destination. "We urge that further debate and new legislation be tabled for now because of the huge and needless damage this could inflict on our brand and to an industry and destination city that each have a world-wide reputation as being welcoming, diverse, inclusive and exceptionally tolerant," wrote Perry in a statement.
Rep. Johnson appeared on the radio show of Tony Perkins earlier this week to promote the bill. (Tipped by JMG reader Michael)

UPDATE: Also "on edge" is the state's film industry.
To the state’s nascent motion picture industry, an enterprise that emerged in the early 2000s and has put Louisiana on the map as one of the country’s premier filming destinations, there’s no silver lining to the bill that could alienate out-of-staters in the same way a controversial religious freedom law recently led to a national boycott against Indiana. “For those of us in the creative industries … this bill creates a significant challenge,” said Lampton Enochs, CEO of Moonbot Studios, a film animation company in the northern city of Shreveport, one of Louisiana’s three main movie industry hubs. “We’re competing with companies in L.A., San Francisco and New York. I think a bill like this would make it difficult to recruit out-of-state talent.”

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