FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy lifted the ban on state-funded travel to Indiana on Saturday after an amendment to that state's religious freedom act.
Malloy signed an executive order on March 30 banning all state-funded travel to Indiana, saying that the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act discriminated against LGBTQ individuals by allowing Indiana businesses to deny them service. Indiana's state legislature has adjusted the act, which Malloy said now protects LGBTQ individuals and falls outside the scope of the executive order.
"I believe the change enacted by the Indiana legislature sufficiently clarifies, in our interpretation, that the law cannot be used to invite discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," Malloy said Saturday.
“Unlike Connecticut – which has been a national leader in LGBTQ protections – this is the first time that Indiana has codified any protections for individuals based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity. While the law even in its amended version remains divisive, I believe it is a step in the right direction."
Malloy's executive order last week had directed that all agencies, departments, boards and commissions, the University of Connecticut and the Board of Regents immediately review all requests for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to states that create the grounds for such discrimination and to bar any such publicly funded travel unless necessary for the enforcement of state law, to meet contractual obligations or for the protection of public health, welfare and safety.
Malloy made headlines again the next day during an appearance on MSNBC, where he called Indiana Gov. Mike Pence a "bigot."
“In 2015, we cannot, and should not, tolerate laws that open the door to discrimination against citizens. We need to actively stand up to them – and that’s what we did this week," Malloy said Saturday. "We are gratified that several other states, businesses, trade organizations and so many stood with us, and we are pleased that numerous states besides Indiana have sought or are seeking changes in their laws with the specific aim of preventing discrimination."
Malloy said Connecticut would continue to monitor other states looking to enact legislation similar to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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