Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is banning city employees from traveling to North Carolina on official business due to a newly passed anti-gay law, Murray said in a brief conversation Monday morning.
An official statement will come from the Mayor's Office later today.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made a similar move Friday.
A spokesperson for the mayor confirmed the plan for a travel ban to The Stranger and said Murray will also instruct city departments to "begin evaluating what, if any travel [to North Carolina] is currently scheduled at the moment."
The North Carolina law, passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor last week, allows discrimination against gay and transgender people by overriding any nondiscrimination ordinances passed by local governments in that state.
Republicans in North Carolina claimed nondiscrimination laws allowing trans people to use public bathrooms that align with their gender identity could endanger women and girls, reports Stranger alum Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed. That is the same argument Republicans in Washington tried to use to pass anti-trans legislation during this legislative session. It is, of course, total bullshit.
Murray and Washington Governor Jay Inslee both temporarily banned government travel to Indiana last year after that state approved anti-LGBT legislation.
I've asked Inslee's office whether he plans to ban state travel to North Carolina. I haven't heard back yet. Inslee's office says there are currently no plans for a state travel ban.
UPDATE: Here's the mayor's executive order prohibiting city-funded travel to North Carolina "until further notice."
“It is my hope for our nation that we do not allow issues of discrimination to divide us,” Murray said in a statement. “Our union is only made stronger when all Americans are treated equitably.”
Murray "also committed to signing additional executive orders to ban city travel to any state that follows in North Carolina’s footsteps," according to his office.