La. Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ executive order protecting state LGBT employees has been declared unconstitutional by State District Judge Todd Hernandez.

Hernandez ruled Edwards’ order created or expanded state law, something only the legislature can do.

The state’s Republican attorney general filed the lawsuit challenging the Democratic governor’s order. Edwards plans to appeal.

While Edwards’ order included a non-discrimination provision for contractors, it contained an exception for religious organizations contracting with the state.

Hernandez bought the argument that Edwards’ executive order tried to create new protected classes of people that don’t exist under current state or federal law. In his decision, he called it, “an unlawful usurp of the constitutional authority vested only in the legislative branch of government.”