The governors of Connecticut, New York, and Washington are sending a strong message to Indiana and other states that pass anti-LGBT legislation.
Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut signed an executive order Monday that prohibits state-funded travel to the Midwestern state or any others that approve so-called religious freedom acts. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also joined the boycott.
“We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while laws are enacted that will turn back the clock,” Malloy said in a statement. “We need to keep moving forward and stand up against forces that seek to roll back progress. I’m sending a clear message with this executive order: Discrimination can’t and won’t be tolerated by the State of Connecticut.”
“I find Indiana’s new law disturbing, particularly at a time when more and more states and people in America are embracing civil rights for everyone,” Inslee said. “Washington will join other states and cities in opposing this law and I will impose an administration-wide ban on state funded travel to Indiana.”
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, followed suit on Tuesday. Like Malloy, he is barring any “publicly funded travel that is not essential to the enforcement of state law or public health and safety.”
"New York State has been, and will continue to be, a leader in ensuring that all LGBT persons enjoy full and equal civil rights,” Cuomo said in a statement. “With this action, we stand by our LBGT family members, friends and colleagues to ensure that their rights are respected."
Last week Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Senate Bill 101, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Called a "license to discriminate" by activists, the law empowers individuals and businesses to refuse service to LGBT people — or anyone else who allegedly offends a citizen's sincerely held religious belief.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Malloy spoke frankly about his executive order and his assessment of the Indiana governor, whom he called a “bigot” who has “done stupid things” like “signing this law.”
“When you see a bigot, you have to call them on it,” he said.
Many public figures and organizations have decried Pence’s signing of the controversial bill, with many calling for a boycott. Among them is the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which according to Talking Points Memo made the decision to move its 2015 National Women’s Conference as a result of the law.
"This un-American law allowing businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers sets Indiana and our nation back decades in the struggle for civil rights," said AFSCME president Lee Saunders. "It is an embarrassment and cannot be tolerated. The 1.6 million members of AFSCME cannot in good conscience make such a sizable financial investment in Indiana knowing that women and men in that state are deliberately being targeted for discrimination."