Connecticut governor bans state funded travel to Indiana over ‘religious freedom’ law

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Conn.)

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Conn.)

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Conn.)

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Conn.)

Updated: 7:00 p.m. EDT

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed an executive order on Monday barring state spending on travel to Indiana and any other state enacting legislation that protects religious freedoms but ultimately discriminates against gays and others groups.

Malloy, the incoming chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, called Indiana’s new religious objections law “disturbing, disgraceful and outright discriminatory.”

“We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while laws are enacted that will turn back the clock,” Malloy said, adding how he “won’t allow any of our citizens in Connecticut to face discrimination in other states, at least without a fight.”

The Indiana measure prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of “person” includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

The proposal has prompted businesses and organizations across the country to cancel future travel plans to Indiana and table expansion plans.

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Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed the measure last week and defended it during a television appearance on Sunday. Indiana’s Republican legislative leaders said Monday they are working on adding language to make it clear it doesn’t discriminate against gays and lesbians.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen a reaction like this to the laws passed historically in the other states or when the federal government did it,” said Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long. “Clearly people are reacting differently to this law. We didn’t see that coming.”

Malloy said he’d prefer the legislation be repealed. Furor over the law stems in part from the fact Indiana’s civil rights laws don’t ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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