Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. Issue Statement in Response to
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s Executive Order No. BJ 2015 – 8


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Text of the Press Release:

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) will be a significant consumer for the state of Louisiana when we hold our biennial national conference August 8-12, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The demographics of our conference attendees will be as diverse as the demographics of our membership. The RID conference will bring individuals from around the country from the sign language interpreter and Deaf communities for the purpose of professional development, networking and exploration and enjoyment of the New Orleans culture.

RID has a commitment to the individuals we serve, which is defined in our guiding statements, mission, vision and diversity statement. The recently issued Executive Order by Governor Bobby Jindal is in opposition to the spirit of the RID Diversity statement, RID’s commitment, and general guiding principles of tolerance and inclusiveness in a free marketplace.

RID, as a consumer of the state of Louisiana, and again, as an organization comprised of a diverse membership, would expect that any legislative or executive act promoting discrimination against any of the protected classes would be prohibited. But instead, Governor Jindal’s recent Executive Order does nothing but promote a discriminatory mind-set and is an attack at the core of human rights.

RID supports the action being taken by leaders within the state as well as the business and tourism industry that counter the Governor’s efforts, from the issuance of an Executive Order by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to the statement made by the New Orleans tourism industry to challenge the Governor’s efforts to enact such a substantive law via executive order.   From the statement issued by the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau on May 20, 2015, “The issuance of this Executive Order will have very little practical impact, however, since under the Louisiana Constitution and statutes, and according to on-point court decisions as recently as December of 2014, no Executive Order of a governor may create substantive law, even in an emergency situation.”

RID is pleased to see local leaders and the tourism and business community in Louisiana come together to advocate against the Governor’s executive order, or any other legislative or executive act, which promotes exclusivity or allowance of discrimination. RID supports these efforts to mitigate the harm of such displayed intolerance at the leadership level and will continue to monitor the environment of cultural acceptance in Louisiana as an essential criteria in the consideration of future conference location selections.

An inclusive environment, accepting of diversity and difference, is critical, not only for visitors of the state of Louisiana but for the people that call Louisiana home, which includes a good number of RID’s 16,000 members. For one week, more than 1,000 of our RID members will be calling New Orleans home. Each and every single one of them should feel safe and secure that their human rights will be protected and that acceptance will reign.


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