New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has joined Connecticut Governor Dannel Maloy (D) in signing an executive order that will ban all non-essential state-funded travel from NY to Indiana. The executive order is in response to the recent state law that was passed in Indiana that would “allow businesses to deny service to gay people.” The specific statute they are referring to, was a recent Indiana amendment that stated business owners were relieved from performing any service that would put “substantial burden” on them. A law, no doubt created with the intention to protect the local business owner, which has been highly contested and protested.
The great fear is that business owners would then be allowed to cite the statute to deny services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transsexual people. Such a religious stand does not sit right well with either Cuomo or Maloy who also filed an executive order Monday banning travel from Connecticut to Indiana until the law is changed. Malloy even went as far as to label Indiana governor Mike Spence as “stupid” for signing the bill in the first place.
Malloy made an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” stating, “A member of the Army can be gay. And they go into a coffee shop in Indiana under this law and someone says because you’re gay, even though you’re wearing the uniform of the United States of America, I’m not going to serve you,” Malloy then added, “That was the intent of this law.”
Cuomo was quoted in his press conference saying, “The ban on publicly funded travel shall take effect immediately,” he continued. “New York State has been, and will continue to be, a leader in ensuring that all LGBT persons enjoy full and equal civil rights. With this action, we stand by our LBGT family members, friends and colleagues to ensure that their rights are respected.”
Now staring down a mob of angry voices, Gov Spence has now called to patch a fix in the legislation that would specifically protect LGBT customers from denial of service. “It would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone,” Pence said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
“We want to make it clear that Indiana is open for business, we want to make it clear that Hoosier hospitality is not a slogan, it’s our way of life.” Hopefully the travel ban will be lifted soon after a patch has been made in the bill. Such a boycott is setting a precedence for state protection of LGBT rights and is a bit of an unusual use of the executive order power given to governors. Pence knows he cannot afford to live out the ban long, and protestors will not wait long before their anger turns to rage.