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

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Malloy’s one-page order directs all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions, UConn and the Board of Regents to immediately review all requests for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to states that “create the grounds for such discrimination.” Such travel would be barred unless it’s necessary to enforce state law, meet contractual obligations or protect public health.

Malloy’s order could affect Connecticut’s collegiate sports teams.

Next year, the NCAA Final Four women’s basketball tournament will be held in Indianapolis. Malloy said he hopes the NCAA moves the tournament. UConn has been a perennial power in women’s basketball.

“I think that would be a wise choice for them to do, if that’s possible,” he said. “We have gay men and women who play NCAA sports. And to hold a tournament in a state that has passed, and really quite frankly has flaunted laws that would lead to discrimination against those athletes, is not a wise place to have a tournament.”

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UConn Athletic Director Warde Manuel told The Associated Press he hopes a boycott won’t be necessary.

“I would hope that the NCAA and the state of Indiana would rectify this so that a group of people don’t have the potential to be discriminated against and that the Final Four can remain there,” he said. “If it doesn’t change, then I would encourage the NCAA to look to move the venue so that we wouldn’t get into a situation where any institution would have to consider that kind of choice.”

Socially conservative groups accused Malloy of not understanding that Connecticut also has a freedom of religion statute, similar to what was enacted in Indiana.

But Malloy stressed that Connecticut law specifically bans discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in public places, public and private employment, governmental services and in receiving goods and services from public places or governmental institutions. Indiana has no such statute.

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