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Indiana boycott

May 2015

The governor of Connecticut, USA, has signed an executive order banning state-funded travel to Indiana as part of a state boycott over Indiana’s new laws for business owners.

Dan Malloy, who announced his plans on Twitter, said Connecticut would officially boycott Indiana because of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The act, signed by Indiana governor Mike Pence, gives business owners the right to turn away customers for religious reasons. 

For example, if a bakery run by Christians were to be asked to create a cake advocating gay marriage, the state law would protect them if they were to refuse it on religious grounds.

However, there has been an outcry in some US states over the law, claiming that it gives a state-backed charter for deliberate discrimination against gay and lesbian customers for religious reasons.

According to a report from Huffington Post, some 20 US states have RFRA laws, but Indiana’s one goes further, as it does not just apply to disputes between an individual and a government, but allows for disputes between private citizens.

It could be abused, critics have said, by people who want to act in a way that violates generally applicable laws, on the grounds that they have a religious justification for doing so.

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