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Madaleno wants Hogan to restrict travel to Indiana

A state senator is calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to ban official travel to Indiana in response to that state’s controversial religious freedom law.

Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., D-Montgomery County and an openly gay member of the state legislature, sent a letter to the governor calling for the ban.

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“I fear it could lead to a public humiliation of many of us when visiting Indiana,” Madaleno wrote. “Your family, an exemplary ambassador for the state of Maryland, could be denied service due to a random business person, waiter, or clerk’s objection to the First Lady’s previous divorce. My family could be denied service because of my marriage to another man. Many of our colleagues could also be denied service because of an Indiana business owner’s objection to a Marylander’s marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, appearance, or a myriad of other excuses.”

Madaleno goes on to ask Hogan to enact a “ban on travel to Indiana with state resources until this discriminatory law is repealed.”

The request is the latest in what is a growing push to ban travel to the state in the wake of the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the “#boycottindiana hashtag is being pushed not just by activists and political operatives, but by stars such as George Takei and Charles Barkley. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray joined San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee over the weekend in banning the use of tax dollars for travel to Indiana.”

Critics of the law say it would allow business owners to discriminate against gay couples.

A spokesman for Hogan was not immediately available for comment.