Chicago and Portland, OR are the latest cities to institute travel bans to North Carolina for their officials and employees following the state’s passage of HB2, which not only overturned Charlotte’s LGBT ordinance, but banned all LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances statewide and also prohibited local municipalities from setting the minimum wage higher than the state.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will issue an executive order that is currently being drafted, according to Crain’s Chicago Business:
And, seeking to gain from a flap over the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people there, Emanuel says he’ll be contacting North Carolina companies that might be interested in relocating to a “more inclusive” Chicago.
In comments after an unrelated event, Emanuel first announced that he would immediately halt any travel by Chicago employees to North Carolina on city business.
Aides said the order is being drafted and will be issued within a day or two. Officials did not immediately indicate how often City Hall sends people to North Carolina to talk to government officials there or for other formal purposes.
Said Emanuel: “North Carolina’s values are of exclusion and intolerance, versus tolerance and inclusion,” Emanuel said. “I have already been on the phone and asked my staff to develop a list of companies . . . that would be interested in (being) in a different environment from one of exclusion.”
And the Portland City Council has voted unanimously to pass a resolution preventing city employees from travel to North Carolina, KGW reports:
“Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly have to understand that such blatant discrimination against their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people cannot stand. Our nation is made stronger when all Americans are treated equitably,” Mayor Hales said in a news release.
“The purpose of this resolution is to declare support for the citizens of North Carolina and those throughout the country who are condemning the ‘Public Facilities Privacy and Securities Act,'” the resolution states.
“As Governor, I am appalled that North Carolina enacted a law that promotes hate and discrimination. We are living in divisive times and it should be our practice as government, as policymakers, and as community members to celebrate people’s diversity, not shun it. In Oregon, this is not how we do business. I seek policies that bring people together, and build bridges, not walls. I would oppose anything like this happening in Oregon, and our voters have shown that they do not support similar discriminatory policies. I’m working to cultivate a culture of inclusion and building an Oregon where each person can thrive. I ask that Oregonians join me in voicing their concerns about such attacks on people’s personal freedoms in North Carolina or anywhere.”
Earlier this week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin banned official state travel to North Carolina joining New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.
Inslee’s memo to cabinet and agency heads today bans “publicly funded non-essential travel” to North Carolina as long as the bill “exists in its current form.” Inslee spokesperson Tara Lee says “non-essential travel” covers most state-funded trips. “Essential travel would only be to absolutely fulfill the duties of the work of the state,” she says in an email. “It would be a very rare case for that to happen.”
“It is the law of Washington State and the policy of my administration to demand equality for all persons,” Inslee’s memo reads.
“The law passed in North Carolina is an absolute disgrace,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Vermont has a proud tradition of protecting the rights of LGBT individuals. I’m making this decision in that tradition. I’m proud to join with New York in taking this action. I hope other states will join us in applying pressure on North Carolina to recognize common sense, common decency, and common humanity and repeal this law.”
Murray issued an executive order on Monday prohibiting the use of city funds for travel to and from the Tarheel State.
“Yes, we’ve initiated a non-essential travel ban for North Carolina as of today, and in the event that the governor’s veto in Georgia is overridden, we will do so for Georgia as well,” de Blasio said Monday afternoon at an unrelated press conference.
“I think it’s quite clear that voices of conscience all over the country are expressing outrage at these decisions which are reinstituting discrimination against the LGBT community,” he said, adding, “My hope is that both these states will relent, but we certainly are not going to have any non-essential travel to those states if these laws do continue in effect.”
“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. Effective immediately, I am directing City Departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of North Carolina that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety.
“I believe strongly that we should be adding more protections to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the United States, not taking them away.
“I would like to applaud cities like Charlotte and its Mayor, Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who have taken steps at the local level to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination. I also applaud Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed who is a champion for equality for all.
“With other states like Georgia on the verge of passing more discriminatory laws, let me be clear that San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in any City or State.”
“In New York, we believe that all people – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – deserve the same rights and protections under the eyes of the law,” Cuomo said in a statement. “From Stonewall to marriage equality, our state has been a beacon of hope and equality for the LGBT community, and we will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past. As long as th