The governor said he is banning state-funded travel to North Carolina after legislation that discriminates against members of the LGBT community.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced on Thursday that he signed an executive order in response to the recently adopted House Bill 2 legislation. The legislation defines how businesses must treat gay, lesbian and transgender customers. But as in other cities recently, the debate has focused on bathrooms.
The governor called House Bill 2 legislation "unacceptable" and stated "Connecticut is acting" in a statement released on Thursday.
“When we see discrimination and injustice, we have to act. This law is not just wrong, it poses a public safety risk to Connecticut residents traveling through North Carolina. That’s why I have signed an executive order banning state-funded travel to the state," Malloy said in the statement on Thursday.
Malloy went on to say that the "law endangers the welfare not just of North Carolina’s citizens." But, he added that it affects "all people visiting that state."
“Nearly two decades ago, Connecticut was among the first states to pass a comprehensive anti-discrimination law concerning sexual orientation, and three years ago I proudly signed a law adding gender identity and expression to those statutes. We need to do what we can to stand up and act against laws that encourage – as a matter of public policy – discrimination and endangerment of our citizenry," Malloy said.
On Wednesday, Malloy urged North Carolina businesses to move to Connecticut in response to a new law. The governor stated in a letter to businesses that they should move to Connecticut because it's "welcoming and inclusive."
In March 2015, Malloy signed a travel ban in the wake of the implementation of a controversial law in Indiana. The ban came after a law gave businesses the right to turn away customers on religious grounds. The law could allow businesses to refuse to serve gay, lesbian or transgender customers.
"In Indiana we got them to turn that bill around in 7 or 8 days," Malloy said on Thursday.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut supported the decision by Malloy.
"Today, Governor Malloy has sent a strong message that the Constitution State will not tolerate discrimination. Real religious liberty has two sides: freedom of religion, and freedom from religion. It does not include a right to discriminate against people based on who they are or who they love. Our Constitution promises to protect equality and justice for all people, and that clearly includes members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. Like Governor Malloy, we stand with our sister affiliate, the ACLU of North Carolina, which has sued to challenge the discriminatory new policy signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory," ALCU Executive Director Stephen Glassman said in a release on Thursday.
The Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Chamber said it is delighted to have the governor's support.
"I appreciate that the fact that the governor here in Connecticut stands with the LGBT and defends it and thinks we are people and deserve the rights that everyone else has," said John Pica-Sneeden, executive director of the CT-GLC.
To read the full executive order by Malloy, click here.
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