March 31, 2015 By Christian Murray
State Sen. Mike Gianaris has introduced a bill that would ban state-funded or state-sponsored travel to Indiana.
Gianaris’ bill comes in the wake of Indiana’s recently introduced Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The new law provides people with the ability to ignore existing state laws in cases where they are a “substantial burden” on their ability to follow their religious beliefs.
Critics of the law are concerned that it might allow a business to discriminate against gay residents, such as a baker being allowed to refuse an order from a gay couple for a wedding cake.
The law has been met with widespread concern across the nation as many fear that it could lead to rampant discrimination against the LGBT community.
“In recent years our nation has finally moved forward on LGBT rights and it is important that we as New Yorkers take a stand to keep us from moving backwards,” said Senator Gianaris.
“In order for our state to play our rightful role as a national leader on this issue, we need to send a loud and clear message all the way to Indiana that this discriminatory law must be opposed. I urge my colleagues to support this proposal, and I encourage states that have not already done so to follow our example.”
While other states also have religious freedom laws, none contain the specific provisions in Indiana’s law that facilitates anti-LGBT discrimination, Gianaris said.