For the second time in a little more than a year, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has banned state-funded travel to a state based on their discrimination against the LGBT community.
Last March, Malloy banned state-funded travel to Indiana when that state enacted legislation, which it later repealed, that allowed businesses to cite religious beliefs as a legal defense to discriminate against the LGBT community.
Just last week, the North Carolina General Assembly convened a special session and voted to overrule a local ordinance in Charlotte that banned discrimination against LGBT people. One of the most controversial parts of the Charlotte ordinance allowed transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender with which they identify.
Malloy, who earlier this week wrote business owners in North Carolina inviting them to move their companies here in the wake of the “discriminatory, anti-LGBT measures,” signed an executive order Thursday morning to ban state-funded travel to North Carolina.
“When we see discrimination and injustice, we have to act,” Malloy, who also heads the Democratic Governor’s Association, said. “This law is not just wrong, it poses a public safety risk to Connecticut residents traveling through North Carolina.”
Malloy said Connecticut has a long history of leading on anti-discrimination issues. It was one of the first states to pass a comprehensive anti-discrimination law concerning sexual orientation, and several years ago Malloy signed a law adding gender identity and expression to those statutes.
In 2011, Malloy signed a law to prevent discrimination against gender identity and expression. Opponents of the measure tried to make the debate about bathrooms, but advocates reminded them that it was about discrimination, rather than bathrooms.
“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. It’s unacceptable, and Connecticut is acting,” Malloy said.
The move was applauded by Stephen Glassman, the executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut.
“Today, Governor Malloy has sent a strong message that the Constitution State will not tolerate discrimination,” Glassman said. “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.”