San Francisco mayor bans city employees from traveling to North Carolina

(AP Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO (WKRN) – The mayor of San Francisco has directed a ban on publicly-funded city employees from travelling to North Carolina in the wake of the state’s latest discriminatory law against the LGBT community.

Mayor Edwin Lee says the ban is on any travel “that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety.”

North Carolina on Thursday passed a law that prevents cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination rules. Gay rights leaders and transgender people said the legislation demonizes the community and espouses bogus claims about increasing the risk of sexual assaults.

MORE: North Carolina passes bill blocking LGBT protections

“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,” Mayor Lee said in a statement.

He continues, “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.”

The San Francisco mayor said he applauds cities like Charlotte and its mayor, “who have taken steps at the local level to protect” LGBT people from discrimination.

“I also applaud Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed who is a champion for equality for all,” Lee added.

The mayor enacted a similar ban on Indiana last year after its governor signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, which legalized discrimination against LGBT individuals. That ban was lifted after Indiana amended their law.

San Francisco is known for its wide acceptance of the gay community. On the San Francisco Travel Association’s website, they write, “Come see the city that practically invented gay.”

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