Oakland Mayor Bans City Travel to Indiana in Protest of “Religious Freedom” Law

Following in San Francisco's footsteps, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced on Tuesday that the city won't spend its public dollars for business travel to Indiana in protest of the state's controversial "religious freedom" law that  many construe as anti-gay.

Schaaf's action, reported by the East Bay Express, comes as cities and companies across the country have announced formal boycotts and protests of Indiana in response to the state's recently enacted "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which says the state cannot "substantially burden a person's exercise of religion."

Oakland joins San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Portland, Oregon, in announcing travel bans after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill on Thursday, Huffington Post noted. Connecticut, Washington state and New York also have banned publicly funded travel by government workers to Indiana. Individuals are protesting, too. USC athletic director Pat Haden said he won't head to Indianapolis this week for the College Football Playoff selection committee meeting, saying he is the "proud father of a gay son."

San Francisco-based Salesforce canceled the companies' events in the state.

Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush all have voiced some support of the law.

Opponents say this measure would clearly make it easier for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people — though Pence, in the wake of national backlash, has pushed for a new law clarifying that the law does not permit discrimination.

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