By Kwegyirba Croffie for It's Relevant
"Discrimination can’t and won’t be tolerated by the State of Connecticut.” That was the message Governor Dannel Malloy sent to Governor Mike Pence in Indiana, signing an executive order Monday morning banning state-funded travel to Indiana in protest of the state's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
"What is happening right now in Indiana is actually a pivotal moment in the LGBTQ Rights Movement,"said Anthony Crisci, Executive Director of the Triangle Community Center.
In a statement regarding the ban, Governor Malloy said, “We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while laws are enacted that will turn back the clock. We need to keep moving forward and stand up against forces that seek to roll back progress..."
“Nearly two decades ago, Connecticut was among the first states that passed a comprehensive anti-discrimination law concerning sexual orientation, and three years ago I enthusiastically 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 allow – as a matter of public policy – individuals to be discriminated against. It’s unacceptable, and today, Connecticut has acted.”
Tuesday afternoon, Governor Malloy appeared on MSNBC with a strong opinion about Governor Pence's decision.
"The governor is not a stupid man, but he has done stupid things. Signing this law and quite frankly promoting this law knowing exactly what it was going to do was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do," said Governor Malloy.
Here in Norwalk, the Triangle Community Center says the ban sends a strong message to the LGBTQ community in Indiana.
"I think having that vocal opposition from anyone; governors, corporations, celebrities does go a long way in letting those youth and children know that they are supported," said Crisci.
The order directs that all agencies, departments, boards and commissions, the University of Connecticut, and the Board of Regents immediately review all requests for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to states that create the grounds for such discrimination and to bar any such publicly funded travel unless necessary for the enforcement of state law, to meet contractual obligations, or for the protection of public health, welfare and safety.
In response to the new law, the UConn Men's Basketball Coach Kevin Ollie and assistance coaches will not head to Indiana for the NCAA Final Four this week.
Governors from New York, Washington and Vermont have joined Connecticut signing similar orders banning state-funded travel to Indiana.