Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is banning state-funded travel to Mississippi following passage of legislation in that state allowing businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a “religious freedom” bill that allows businesses to refuse to employ or rent to someone because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. It also allows medical professionals to refuse to participate in treatments, counseling, and surgery related to “sex reassignment or gender identity transitioning.”
“Government should be in the practice of eliminating discrimination — not embracing it,” Malloy said in a statement.
Malloy was able to use Executive Order 45, which he signed last year after Indiana passed a similar law. That law has since been repealed.
“This law in Mississippi is an active attempt to discriminate against the LGBTQ community,” Malloy said. “We, as a state, cannot stand for that.”
Malloy recently signed another executive order to ban state-funded travel of North Carolina, which didn’t use religious freedom as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBT community.
Two weeks ago 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.
Following passage of that legislation, in addition to banning state-funded travel to North Carolina, Malloy invited businesses there to relocate to Connecticut.
“Not only are we an inclusive state, but we have one of the best-educated and most productive workforces in the nation,” Malloy wrote to business owners in North Carolina.
The Mississippi legislation was denounced by the business community there. According to news reports, some of the companies to denounce the new law included MGM Resorts International, Nissan, Toyota, Tyson Foods, AT&T, IBM, and Levi Strauss & Co.
Mississippi’s law goes into effect on July 1.