The governors of Connecticut, New York, and Washington on Saturday lifted bans on taxpayer-funded travel between their states and Indiana, two days after Gov. Mike Pence signed an amended religious freedom bill into law.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had ordered bans on state-funded travel to Indiana on Monday in response to that state's passing of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which critics said would permit discrimination against LGBT individuals.
Numerous other states, cities, corporations, and celebrities soon joined a national boycott against Indiana -- a backlash that eventually prompted Pence to urge lawmakers to "fix" the law.
On Thursday, Pence signed into law a revised version of the bill, which included language stating the law cannot be used to discriminate.
Malloy said he was satisfied the law had been sufficiently amended.
"Today I am lifting the ban on state funded travel to Indiana, because I believe the change enacted by the Indiana legislature sufficiently clarifies, in our interpretation, that the law cannot be used to invite discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," he said.
"In 2015, we cannot, and should not, tolerate laws that open the door to discrimination against citizens. We need to actively stand up to them – and that's what we did this week," Malloy said. "We are gratified that several other states, businesses, trade organizations, and so many stood with us, and we are pleased that numerous states besides Indiana have sought or are seeking changes in their laws with the specific aim of preventing discrimination."
Cuomo also said he believed the changes would prevent discrimination.
"Here in New York, we believe that all Americans, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation or any other protected classes, should be treated equally under the law," Cuomo said. "Our nation's Constitution ensures equality and justice for all. We must never forget that 'all' does not mean 'some', but all of us and we will continue to fight and stand up for equality until it is a reality for all Americans."
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington also rescinded his state's travel ban Saturday. In a statement issued to BuzzFeed News, he wrote that the amended law fixes "the most egregious elements" of the original legislation. He also called it "a promising step toward greater cultural inclusion and acceptance for LGBT communities."
Malloy vowed Connecticut would "continue to monitor other states that enact reforms similar to the original Indiana RFRA."
"We cannot watch states pass laws that seek to turn back the clock either on Connecticut residents, or our fellow Americans," he said. "We have an obligation to do what's right, and to protect against discrimination whenever and wherever we see it."
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact David Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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