Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed a ban today prohibiting "non-essential state-funded travel" to North Carolina in response to the state's anti-LGBTQ policies. The governor's decision comes two weeks after North Carolina officials compromised and repealed House Bill 2, which effectively allowed discrimination against gays and transgender people. However, state officials, infuriatingly, replaced H.B. 2 with another piece of legislation that, to the dismay of local LGBTQ advocates, created a "moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances through 2020 and [left] regulation of 'multi-occupancy facilities,' or bathrooms, to state lawmakers, The New York Times reported.
“We must continue to stand up for the rights of all people," Inslee said in a statement. "North Carolina is continuing discriminatory policies and this is not something the state of Washington condones or supports."
Inslee previously signed a ban on travel to North Carolina when state officials first approved H.B. 2 in 2016.
In a memo sent to state agencies today, Inslee described North Carolina's compromise as a "half-measure" passed "despite efforts by Governor [Jay] Cooper," the state's newly elected Democratic leader. The new legislation still "contains troubling, discriminatory provisions and Washingtonians traveling to North Carolina on work-related matters may still experience discrimination," he wrote.
Inslee concludes: "I invite all other statewide elected officials, institutions of higher education, agencies, boards, and commissions to follow the provisions of this directive."