Three American cities are barring employees from traveling to North Carolina. It’s the latest evidence of a spreading backlash over a new law allowing discrimination against LGBT people in the state.
Mayors of San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City have all said travel to the Tar Heel State is temporarily suspended. Meanwhile, the law is being challenged in court by those who say it's unconstitutional to block municipalities that want to ensure that trangender people can use facilities that correspond with their gender identity, and that LGBT people aren't discriminated against in housing, employment, or when merely showing up at a local business.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio will be putting a halt to all nonessential travel to North Carolina, CNBC reporter Ryan Ruggiero tweeted today. It matches with the sentiment from the mayor’s office immediately after state lawmakers passed a ban on antidiscrimination ordinances that are inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) March 24, 2016
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a gay man himself, told reporter Joel Connelly of the Seattle PI that city employees won’t be permitted to travel to North Carolina for official business. A statement from the mayor’s office is expected later today.
San Francisco was the first city to make the change, reports KGO TV, with Mayor Ed Lee saying, “We are standing united as San Franciscans to condemn North Carolina's new discriminatory law that turns back the clock on protecting the rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals."
When Indiana passed a so-called religious freedom bill last year, a similar backlash had entire states clamping down on travel. The governors of Connecticut, New York, and Washington all issued orders banning nonessential travel to Indiana until that law was amended.