San Francisco State University President Leslie E. Wong banned all school-funded travel to Indiana in response to the state's controversial new "religious freedom" law.
The law enacted last week, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, protects a person or business against lawsuits for refusing service to LGBT individuals if they cite religious reasons. The bill has attracted a growing chorus of dissent, including condemnation from five college presidents in Indiana.
On Monday, Wong got into the mix by blocking employees and students from using SFSU funds "from any source -- general funds or auxiliary" to travel to Indiana, effective immediately.
As a member of the NCAA Division II President’s Council, Wong said, he'll be skipping a required meeting in Indianapolis next month. The NCAA has expressed concern with Indiana's religious freedom law as well.
SFSU's stance adds to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's proclamation barring "any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of Indiana that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety."
Wong's full statement is posted below:
I am dismayed, if not extremely disappointed, in the recent legislation signed into law in Indiana. It is unconscionable for this great University to spend its resources in a state that attempts to legislate discrimination of any kind.
By this note, I am informing the campus community that no San Francisco State University funds from any source -- general funds or auxiliary -- will be used to support employee or student travel to Indiana. This action is effective today, Monday, March 30, 2015 until further notice. Any travel authorized prior to today may proceed as planned with approval of the appropriate vice president.
We are researching similar legislation reputed to be existent in other states to determine further action.
As a member of the NCAA Division II President’s Council, I will not attend a required meeting of the Council to be held in April in Indianapolis. A copy of this note is being sent to NCAA President Mark Emmert and to CSU Chancellor Timothy White.
Our commitment to social justice on this campus remains a point of pride for me. The vice presidents, deans and Academic Senate's Executive Committee all endorse this action.
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