Cities From Honolulu To Providence Ban Travel Over Anti-LGBT Laws

At least five states, 16 cities and 2 counties don't want state employees traveling to North Carolina or Mississippi

Pride. — REUTERS
Apr 13, 2016 at 9:18 AM ET

Nationwide rage over a North Carolina law prohibiting trans people from using public bathrooms that don’t match their biological gender has continued despite an executive order aimed at addressing the outcry.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore said late Tuesday that his distributor had agreed not to send his new film to movie theaters in the state “due 2 their bigoted law against LGBTQ ppl.” Gregg Allman, formerly of the Allman Brothers Band, followed Bruce Springsteen and Brian Adams in condemning the law. But unlike his fellow musicians, he didn’t cancel a performance scheduled for Wednesday.

More Deutsche Bank Pauses North Carolina Expansion Over Anti-LGBT Law

Those condemnations of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, or House Bill 2, came after Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order on Tuesday that he described as an action “to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.” The order allows state employees to make discrimination claims related to their sexual orientation and gender identity. McCrory also said he will seek to change a part of the law that prevents discrimination cases being brought to state court.

But the most controversial segment of the law, which prohibits transgender people from using public bathrooms that don’t match the gender they were given at birth, didn’t change, prompting continued criticism. The North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union described McCrory’s executive order as “a poor effort to save face after his sweeping attacks on the LGBT community.” Acting executive director Sarah Preston said “transgender people are still explicitly targeted by being forced to use the wrong restroom.”

As of early Wednesday, at least five states, 16 cities and two counties had banned government travel on the taxpayer’s dime to North Carolina in direct protest of House Bill 2. It was unclear if Tuesday’s executive order would prompt them to change their policies.

Earlier on Tuesday, Deutsche Bank said it was freezing plans to create 250 jobs in North Carolina over the law. That followed a move by PayPal, which announced earlier this month it was canceling plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, which would have created 400 jobs. The CEO of GV, previously known as Google Ventures, also promised to refuse to invest in any company from the state until the law is overturned.

Outrage has continued to spread over a similar law in Mississippi called the Religious Liberty Accommodations Act, which goes into effect July 1. The law states that no discriminatory action will be taken against religious groups, or businesses that accommodate marriages, that refuse service to LGBT people. Governors in five states and 13 city mayors also banned government travel to Mississippi over the law as of Wednesday morning.

Several mayors across the country formed a coalition: Mayors Against Discrimination. It agrees to ban state-sponsored travel to any state that invokes laws seen as discriminatory, and is also looking into ways to ban contracting and purchasing from companies situated in such states, it said in a statement.