Politics & Government

Gov. Inslee rescinds Indiana travel ban

Gov. Jay Inslee has rescinded a ban he announced earlier this week on state-funded travel to Indiana.

The ban, which applied only to cabinet-level agencies, was designed to protest Indiana’s recently enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics said would allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples and others in the name of religion.

Inslee rescinded the ban Friday after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed changes to the legislation. The new language aims to prevent the state law from being used to erode local anti-discrimination ordinances, according to the Indianapolis Star.

In revoking the ban, Inslee said that the amendments were “remedying the most egregious elements of the law.”

“This is a promising step toward greater inclusion and acceptance for LGBT communities,” Inslee said in a statement Friday.

Technically, Inslee’s prohibition on publicly funded trips to Indiana didn’t apply to state universities, though the governor’s office had asked those institutions to also participate in the ban.

The men’s basketball coaches from the University of Washington and Washington State University both traveled to Indiana this week. UW coach Lorenzo Romar and WSU coach Ernie Kent both were in Indianapolis for the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention, a five-day event held in conjunction with the Final Four college basketball championship.

On the other side of the country, UConn men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie had said he and his staff would not travel to the coaches’ convention and the Final Four, after Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy issued an order banning state-funded travel to Indiana earlier in the week.