In a strongly worded op-ed for the New York Times, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal revealed that because of his Christian faith, he will never back down from the fight over same-sex marriage or Louisiana's religious freedom bill.
In the essay, published on April 23, Jindal, who is expected to make a June presidential announcement, criticizes conservative leaders in Arkansas and Indiana for sucumbing to pressure over related religious liberty laws in those states.
"That political leaders in both states quickly cowered amid the shrieks of big business and the radical left should alarm us all," he writes, slamming the business community for bending to the "radical liberals" on religious liberty.
"Liberals have decided that if they can't win at the ballot box, they will win in the boardroom. It's a deliberate strategy. And it's time for corporate America to make a decision."
The 43 year old politician, who has served as Louisiana's Governor since 2008, also voiced his support for the state's controversial religious freedom bill, which provides protections against state action to those who oppose gay marriage.
"The bill does not, as opponents assert, create a right to discriminate against, or generally refuse service to, gay men or lesbians," he explains. "The bill does not change anything as it relates to the law in terms of discrimination suits between private parties. It merely makes our constitutional freedom so well defined that no judge can miss it."
Jindal continues, "[G]iven the changing positions of politicians, judges and the public in favor of same-sex marriage, along with the potential for discrimination against Christian individuals and businesses that comes with these shifts, I plan in this legislative session to fight for passage of the Marriage and Conscience Act."
Presumably citing a recent Pew Research Poll, which found that 61% of young Republicans support same-sex marriage, Jindal acknowledges that "the American consensus is changing" on homosexuality. However, he emphasizes that "like many other believers, I will not change my faith-driven view on this matter, even if it becomes a minority opinion."
In concluding his op-ed, Jindal asserts that "those who believe in freedom must stick together."
"If it's not freedom for all, it's not freedom at all," he writes. "This strategy requires populist social conservatives to ally with the business community on economic matters and corporate titans to side with social conservatives on cultural matters. This is the grand bargain that makes freedom's defense possible."
Meanwhile, as election season nears, Jindal has reportedly been spending ample time time in Iowa, where he is also hiring campaign staff. The AP notes that Iowa, the first state in the nation to vote on the presidential contenders, can be critical in making or breaking a Presidential campaign.
Last week, the Governor hosted the 51st annual Louisiana Governor's Prayer Breakfast in the state's capitol of Baton Rouge, where he reminded attendees that his Christian faith drives every political decision he makes.
"It's a couple hours where I'm not a governor but I'm just a brother in Christ," Jindal said of the event, which featured guest speaker Ravi Zacharias. "I'm a sinner just like everyone else in that room, and what makes me valuable is not this title, not this home, not this office, but rather that He died for me and I was created in God's image."