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Baton Rouge Civil Rights Ordinance

All citizens should be able to earn a living, have a place to live, and be served as anyone else by a business or government office.



Civil Rights Ordinance Talking Points


Top Line Messages

  • All hardworking people, including those who are LGBTQ, want to do their jobs and provide for their families.

  • It’s surprising to learn that our LGBTQ neighbors can still be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, or kicked out of a store just for being who they are. That’s why this update is so important.

  • Protecting people from discrimination—including our LGBTQ neighbors—is about treating othersas we want to be treated. It’s not for me to judge.

  • We all love Baton Rouge and are proud to call it home. We believe people who work hard and meet their responsibilities should have the chance to get ahead.

  • Updating this law means that all of us, including those who are LGBTQ, have an opportunity to provide for ourselves and our families and build a better life.


Making the Case

  • “LGBTQ people are our friends, our family, our coworkers, our neighbors. They simply want to work hard and provide for their families like anyone else.”

  • “This update is about protecting the freedom of all of our neighbors—including those who are LGBTQ—to live their lives free from discrimination.”

Normalize Unfamiliarity Around Transgender Topics

  • “It can be hard to understand what it means to be transgender, especially if you’ve never met someone from that community before. I get that.”

  • “I didn’t know what it meant to be transgender until [my daughter came out/until I met my neighbor/etc.]”

  • “I can understand the confusion around transgender topics. It’s unfortunate that most people have not yet had the opportunity to learn about who we are.”

Work Values

  • Hard work

  • Earning a living

  • Providing for oneself and one’s family

  • Personal responsibility

  • Pride in a job well done

  • Being judged based solely on performance and qualifications


“When every American is given the opportunity to work hard and earn a living, our state and nation will
succeed. Employees should be evaluated on whether they get the job done. No more, no less.”

Personal and Faith Values

  • Treating others as I want to be treated

  • Not for me to judge

  • We are all God’s children

  • Treating others with respect


“The golden rule teaches us to treat others the way we want to be treated. That’s why people of faith are
part of our coalition to support dignity and respect for all of us in [state], including our LGBTQ neighbors
and their families.”

Rebutting Restroom Myths

  1. Connect to values.

  2. Harassment is illegal.

  3. 20 states and over 200 towns have these protections.

  4. Third party validators – endorsement of women’s safety and/or advocacy organizations, and/or police associations.


Examples of Rebutting Restroom Myths

  • “Safety and privacy is important to all of us, including LGBTQ people and their families.”

  • “Harassment is illegal, and the good news is that the Baton Rouge Civil Rights Ordinance won’t change that.”

  • “It’s reassuring that in the 20 states and over 200 towns that have passed these protections, there has been no increase in public safety concerns.”

  • If applicable: “And that’s been true right here in our state as well, in the towns that have had these protections for years.”

  • “That’s why women’s safety groups and all of our leading law enforcement agencies have publicly called for updating our nondiscrimination protections.”

Notes on Rebutting Restroom Myths

  • Use “restrooms” instead of “bathrooms.”

  • Use “public spaces” instead of “public accommodations.”

  • Use “bathroom bans” instead of “bathroom bills.”


Rebutting Religious Exemption Myths

  1. Establish shared values.

  2. Provide reassurance.

  3. Reconcile the tension.

  4. Call to action.


Examples of Rebutting Religious Exemption Myths

  • “Freedom of religion is important to all of us. It’s one of our nation’s fundamental values.”

  • “That’s why it’s already protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.”

  • “That freedom doesn’t give any of us the right to impose our beliefs onto others, or to discriminate.”

  • “We are all God’s children. My faith teaches me to treat my neighbors as myself. That’s why a license to discriminate is opposed by many faith leaders [like those here today]."

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