July 30, 2021

Mr. Speaker,

First and foremost, I want to thank you for your leadership in making an historic veto override session a reality. This was an impossibility that you and Senate President Cortez made an inevitability. It is for this reason I offer the following suggestions regarding the so-called “friends” and allies within your membership.

The Louisiana legislative override session was intended to fix the mistakes of Governor John Bel Edwards by resurrecting the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act (SB 156), among other bipartisan-backed vetoed subject matters. The override session was said to have been a failure for proponents. However, it revealed fault lines in both Gov. Edwards' limited reach and the House Chamber's current political arrangement.

Gov. Edwards was forced to pull out all the stops, to make promises and to initiate threats to ensure that his republican-targeted vetoes, bills which Democrats originally and wholeheartedly supported, would be sustained by a newly energized Democrat opposition.

The Senate vote on SB156 passed with Sen. Pat Connick's vote to enact his district's will. Then, the House, with “two votes to spare,” voted. Three members who had assured you, Mr. Speaker, minutes before the vote, that you could count on them, simply reneged. With friends like this, your leadership will always be subject to your opponents' political shenanigans!

Elections have consequences! This was proven by the re-election of Governor Edwards who positioned himself as an affable, pro-life centrist Democrat. We witnessed heartwarming pro-life campaign ads. We were told not to question his sincerity on this issue even as abortion clinics remained opened, and while churches and businesses in Louisiana were threatened during the government instituted shutdowns.

"For every tree is known by his own fruit." (Luke 6:43)

The bitter fruit of this struggle emanates from Governor Edwards, who immediately upon election, issued an executive order advocating for biological men who present themselves as women to have access to women’s locker-rooms and other private spaces.  Now, by virtue of this veto, he advocates for biological men to compete against women, essentially erasing girls’ and women’s sports.

LFF does not aspire to be a political organization; we merely operate in that arena because that’s the place where important decisions are made. Our mandate and mission deal with faith and family and freedom. This encompasses a much broader set of issues including a biblical foundations on human sexuality, the integrity of the traditional family, and the sanctity of all human life. LFF, for many years, was the only organization in Louisiana advocating for some of these essential issues.

LFF has consistently issued voter guides showing candidate positions on a broad range of issues so that voters can be informed. And our 2021 Legislative Scorecard, which will be issued in a matter of days, demonstrates just how far elected officials on the right and left have departed from their support of family values, many for the first time in 23 years. Sadly, a number of legislators secured a “0” on LFF’s Scorecard by embracing DC style politics.

Governor JBE is term-limited, and a lame duck with questionable ability to sustain any future veto through re-apportionment and his two final years of legislative sessions. 

Mr. Speaker, you and other conservatives in the legislature may have aspirations for higher office. LFF’s respectfully encourages you in the difficult task ahead -- to discipline dishonesty, to align your committees to reflect Louisiana’s electorate, to abandon unreliable alliances with those who have demonstrated a disdain for your principles, forsake their pledges and to factor their allegiances to the governor and their national party over the integrity of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

The people of Louisiana are wondering if the politics of last week will provide similar outcomes and consequences going forward -- in reapportionment, in the 2023 elections and in future legislative sessions. Louisiana has come a long way and is considered the most pro-life state in the nation.

Now, we understand that there are issues that any pro-life commitment must also beget, such as dignity for and the safety of women and girls, essential rights, rejection of any medical martial law (mask mandates, vaccine coercion, etc.), election integrity, and limited government.

Unholy alliances have been revealed. Some of your chairmen are hiding from their constituents regarding their vote (see that vote here and thank those who voted correctly) in the override session. We oppose these games and can not fathom a Louisiana that holds that it is morally defensible to allow biological men to compete in women’s sports!

Mr. Speaker, if you allow your assigned committee chairmen to derail your leadership, your legacy will be the Speaker who gave a Democrats the power to inject D.C. politics deep into the heart of Louisiana.

As a friend, I implore you: take swift and decisive action to contain wayward members and those who served as accomplices in undermining your leadership. Louisiana has rejected radical politics and the House would operate more efficiently if you required your members to abide by the conservative principles of those who elected them -- including Democrats in conservative areas of our state.

If you do this, I, LFF, and the 500+ pastors who stood with us on this issue, will stand with you to build a Louisiana where God is honored, life is respected, families flourish, and liberty reigns!

In His Service,

Gene Mills
Louisiana Family Forum

P.S. We want to take time to mention the home-going of 2 LFF stalwarts: Dr. Jere Melilli, the founder and Pastor of Christian Life Fellowship (now Church of the King Baton Rouge), and Mrs. Dottie Piner, a founding board member of LFF. These two courageous friends and supporters of our mission went to be with the Lord this past week. We honor them by carrying forward the promise to be faithful ambassadors until we join them on the other side of that river.

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