Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday he might ban or put limits on state travel to Indiana in response to that state's new law governing religious freedom, which has come under heavy criticism from gay rights activists and supporters.
"I abhor the action taken by the Legislature and governor of Indiana," Dayton told the Star Tribune. "We are considering now what we can legally and properly do without overreaching, and setting up a situation where we're telling state employees they can't go to Indiana for some resolution of a public issue."
Dayton said he hoped to announce some type of response within 48 hours.
On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Fire Department canceled travel plans to an Indiana conference at the urging of Mayor Betsy Hodges, who is moving to prevent any city-funded travel to Indiana.
Other Democratic mayors and governors around the country have taken similar steps, including the governors of Connecticut, New York and Washington state.
The law, which Indiana's Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed in private last week, purports to protect individuals and business owners in the free exercise of religion. However, its critics believe it could provide a legal basis for discrimination against gay people. In one case, an Indiana pizzeria has asserted it would cite the law's protections so as to not have to cater gay weddings.
The law prompted a nationwide outcry, and has even come under criticism by some Indiana Republicans, including the mayor of Indianapolis. Pence has since said he wants the law changed to address some of those concerns, but leading Indiana Republicans have rejected calls to repeal it outright.
"I join with those who have denounced the law. I hope it's rescinded as soon as possible," Dayton said. "The question is what is the proper response?"