IBM cancels ribbon-cutting because of Gov. Jindal's executive or - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

IBM cancels ribbon-cutting because of Gov. Jindal's executive order

IBM's National Service Center (Source: WAFB) IBM's National Service Center (Source: WAFB)
IBM's National Service Center (Source: WAFB) IBM's National Service Center (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - IBM has cancelled Monday's ribbon-cutting for its new National Service Center in Baton Rouge because of Governor Bobby Jindal's executive order. 

The event on June 22 had been reserved for months, according to several city leaders, including Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District.  

The technology giant IBM voiced "strong opposition" to Louisiana's so-called religious freedom legislation as far back as mid-April. 

In a letter to the governor, IBM executives said the legislation cut at the very heart of what their company stands for, equal rights and opportunity for everyone, discrimination for no one. The letter implored Jindal not to support any agenda that protected discrimination against LGBT people. 

Other companies followed suit, triggering a number of similar statements, but IBM, the major player local and state leaders fought so desperately to bring to Baton Rouge, was not amused by Jindal's handling of any of the matter or his response by letter to them.

Hours after lawmakers voted down the legislation on May 19, effectively killing it, Jindal issued an executive order with language that mirrored the "Marriage and Conscience Act" that was authored by Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City. The Jindal power play was met with an avalanche of negative statements against Louisiana. 

9News had learned in May that IBM might call off the scheduled ribbon-cutting, but the company didn't immediately release their June "hold" date. Instead, they quietly took it off schedules. IBM may have some event in the fall, but no details are being made public at this time. 

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