NEW CASTLE, Del. – New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon has issued an Executive Order to ban all county-funded travel of Executive Branch employees to the State of Indiana in light of that state’s recently enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
This law provides the right, based on a religious belief, to broadly discriminate against any and all citizens. Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community are the initial intended target. This right to discriminate, inconsistent with notions of equality, can be asserted by individuals and any type of business, whether for-profit or non-profit, irrespective of its purpose.
Any New Castle County funded travel would have to be determined by the Chief Administrative Officer or his designee “as necessary for the enforcement of State or County law, or to meet contractual obligations …”
County Executive Gordon’s Executive Order followed similar actions taken by Denver, Colo.; Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco, Calif.; Washington, D.C; the State of New York and the State of Connecticut, among others on a still growing list.
“Whereas, in 1963, in the Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,’” the Executive Order states in part.
County Executive Gordon said Councilman Penrose Hollins plans to sponsor an Ordinance that would include people of all sexual orientations on the list of prohibited discrimination identified in the New Castle County Code.