Today’s quote – and it is a doozy – comes to us from Dannel Malloy, Governor of Connecticut.
Speaking of Indiana’s newly-enacted Religious Freedom Reform Act (RFRA) legislation, Mr. Malloy had this to say about Indiana Governor Mike Pence:
“The governor’s not a stupid man, but he’s done stupid things. And signing this law, and, quite frankly, promoting this law, knowing exactly what it was going to do, was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do….(he) knew exactly what he was doing, and when you see a bigot, you have to call them on it. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while laws are enacted that will turn back the clock. (I) won’t allow any of our citizens in Connecticut to face discrimination in other states, at least without a fight.”
Those are extremely harsh words from one politician to another. But, if overly insulting, I would nevertheless credit Dannel Malloy for his blunt, plain-spoken stand….were it not for one teeny weeny little fact.
Not only does Connecticut have a virtually identical law on the books, but its version is even more restrictive than Indiana’s.
From Sean Davis’s funny-if-it-weren’t-so-pathetic revelation at thefederalist.com:
If you dislike Indiana’s RFRA, then you should loathe Connecticut’s. The difference comes down to a single phrase: “substantially burden.”
Both the Indiana law and the federal law declare that the respective governments may not “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion[.]” In other words, the laws require the courts to analyze cases brought under these laws using the strict scrutiny standard. Under the Indiana and federal religious liberty laws, government can burden religious exercise, but it cannot substantially burden it. That’s a key distinction.
Connecticut’s law, however, is far more restrictive of government action and far more protective of religious freedoms. How? Because the Connecticut RFRA law states that government shall not “burden a person’s exercise of religion[.]” Note that the word “substantially” is not included in Connecticut’s law.
The effect of the absence of that single word is enormous. It states that Connecticut government may not burden the free exercise of religion in any way. That makes it far more protective of religious liberty than the Indiana law that has so outraged Connecticut’s governor.
If Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy wants to blatantly discriminate against states with religious liberty laws on the books, that’s his prerogative. But if he doesn’t want to look like a completely ignorant hypocrite who has no idea what he’s talking about, he should probably examine his own state’s laws first.
I award Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy Quote Of The Day honors, because it is rare to find someone making as complete an asshat of himself as Malloy has done. When it happens, it should be recognized – if, for nothing else, its humor value.
Congratulations, Dannel. Now tell us: since you have banned state-funded travel to Indiana because of its RFRA legislation, and Connecticut’s is even more restrictive, would you blame Indiana Governor Mike Pence for banning state-funded travel from Indiana to Connecticut?