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Malloy bans state travel to North Carolina due to anti-LGBT legislation

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HARTFORD — Governor Dan Malloy signed an executive order that bans state-funded travel to North Carolina due to the recently adopted HB2 legislation, which removes protections for the rights of the LGBT community.

“When we see discrimination and injustice, we have to act.  This law is not just wrong, it poses a public safety risk to Connecticut residents traveling through North Carolina,” said Malloy said.

HB 2 was enacted last week, and it requires people to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. It’s drawn a torrent of critics who call the bill “anti-LGBT” — and a growing group of business leaders are warning that it’s bad for the state’s economy.

Malloy had banned state travel to Indiana last year under similar circumstances. He later lifted the ban. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and officials from other cities and states have also banned government travel to the state in recent days.

North Carolina’s attorney general said Tuesday that he would refuse to defend the state’s new bathroom law in court.

“We’re talking about discrimination here,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said at a press conference. “Not only is this new law a national embarrassment, it will set North Carolina’s economy back.”

On Monday, a federal lawsuit was filed against the North Carolina governor and other state officials over a new law there that blocks transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity and stops cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.

Two transgender men, a lesbian, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina want a judge to declare the state law, House Bill 2, unconstitutional and a violation of federal laws banning sex discrimination.

The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The defendants are Gov. Pat McCrory, state Attorney General Roy Cooper III, the board of governors of the University of North Carolina and board Chairman W. Louis Bissette Jr. Two of the plaintiffs are university system employees, and one is a university student.

Stephen Glassman, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, released a statement on Malloy’s executive order:

“As a defender of equality, justice, and individual freedom, the ACLU of Connecticut supports Governor Malloy’s executive order to stand up for the rights of LGBT people. Today, Governor Malloy has sent a strong message that the Constitution State will not tolerate discrimination. Real religious liberty has two sides: freedom of religion, and freedom from religion. It does not include a right to discriminate against people based on who they are or who they love. 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.”

Information from CNN was included in this story. 

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