It must be springtime in Connecticut, because the Governor is picking on other states again — first North Carolina, now Mississippi. We’ve seen this movie before. He continues to demonstrate his lack of understanding on religious freedom; everything we said last year still applies, and then some. Here’s a statement that ought to resound loud and clear across the nation and at home in Connecticut: if you hold traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs, Malloy thinks you have “backwards thinking and backwards values.”
If you hold traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs, Malloy thinks you have “backwards thinking and backwards values.”
Aside from it not being his place, a lot of good it has done as economic policy, considering that we struggle with a $900 million projected deficit and thousands of state workers face layoffs. We’re concerned that the Governor is courting retaliation, and this whole episode will really only hurt Connecticut. Peter Wolfgang was quoted in the Waterbury Republican-American on Friday: “This is why people move out of Connecticut to North Carolina in the first place.” Indeed, North Carolina and points south don’t seem to have much reason to worry. In 2014, Connecticut led the country in outbound migration, and as this article indicates, major beneficiaries of flight from other states included places like the Carolinas. No executive order is going to make these people stay.
Our state is hurting; in other areas, our officials are backpedaling to try to retain people who are shouldering 40% of Connecticut’s income taxes. The last thing we need is to go on the attack and provoke an economic war with other states — especially if it turns out they can well afford to return the favor — over conscience protections and bathroom policies, of all things. On the rare occasion that voters are allowed to express themselves directly on men in women’s bathrooms, they vote against it, as they did recently in Houston. State-level RFRAs should also be utterly uncontroversial. The governors of North Carolina and Mississippi now have a chance to show the backbone that others have not.