Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

SF mayor bars city travel to North Carolina after state passes anti-LGBT law


Mayor Ed Lee

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today (Friday, March 25) issued a ban on publicly funded city employee travel to North Carolina after that state’s governor, Pat McCrory, signed into law a bill that overturns protections for LGBTs.

“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,” Lee said in a statement. He said he’s directing city departments to immediately implement the travel ban for trips that are “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,” Lee said.

He praised Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Jennifer Roberts and cities like hers that have worked to protect LGBTs from discrimination.

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

North Carolina’s law specifically bars transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match their birth gender.

Theresa Sparks, who’s transgender and serves as executive director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, stated her agency “is unequivocal in its condemnation of North Carolina” and McCrory “in legislating what patently amounts to bigotry, intolerance, and discrimination against the LGBT community. This is an affront to human rights not only to LGBT individuals in North Carolina but also serves as an attack on the civil and human rights of LGBT individuals across the country.”

Sparks added, “Fighting for equality and overcoming prejudice and discrimination has long been a mainstay in the history of the LGBT movement. Although the LGBT community has experienced some important milestones in recent years such as marriage equality, this progress is under attack by North Carolina’s effort to legislate hatred and should stand as an offense to all citizens of the United States.”

Lee noted that last year, after Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law legislation that legalized discrimination against LGBTs, Lee ordered a similar travel ban. After many others did the same, Indiana amended its law, and Lee’s ban was lifted.

Gay San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener announced Wednesday that he’s exploring legislation prohibiting city travel to North Carolina.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 25, 2016 @ 10:29 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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