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69° Good Afternoon

Cuomo lifts state's travel ban to Indiana

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seen in a March

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seen in a March 11, 2015 file photo. Photo Credit: AP

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday lifted a ban on state-funded travel to Indiana after it revised a religious freedom law that opponents said freed businesses to discriminate against gays.

Cuomo's statement said he acted after reviewing Indiana's new amendments and consulting with LGBT advocacy groups. "Here in New York, we believe that all Americans, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation or any other protected classes, should be treated equally under the law," the statement said.

The prohibition on nonessential travel, which began Tuesday, forced some New York college sports teams and basketball coaches to change their plans. The University of Buffalo's women's softball team relocated its Saturday game against Indiana's Ball State to Oxford, Ohio, a Buffalo spokesman said by email. The women's tennis team, however, had to cancel its matches.

A spokesman for the State University of New York was not available to say whether its basketball coaches now could attend the NCAA Final Four championships Saturday and Monday in Indianapolis.

On Wednesday, chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said SUNY had instructed "our campuses to immediately review any existing travel plans by faculty and staff."Cuomo's shortlived ban did not prevent at least one basketball coach, University of Buffalo's Bobby Hurley, from attending the NCAA basketball championships.

"It is our understanding that Bobby Hurley is traveling to Indianapolis this weekend to fulfill some prior contractual obligations. It is personal travel that is not state-funded or state-sponsored. He is not representing the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, or the State of New York," the university said in a statement on Friday.

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