Governor Jay Inslee: The discriminatory policies being promoted by North Carolina is not something our state condones or supports.
Governor Jay Inslee: "The discriminatory policies being promoted by North Carolina is not something our state condones or supports." Governor's Office

A day after Seattle Mayor Ed Murray took a similar step, Washington Governor Jay Inslee is ordering state officials not to take publicly funded trips to North Carolina. That state's legislature recently passed a law overriding local nondiscrimination ordinances, effectively allowing discrimination against gay and trans people across North Carolina. Supporters of the discriminatory law rooted their argument in the same transphobic nonsense we've seen recently here in Washington state.

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.

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Inslee imposed a similar ban last year in response to a law passed in Indiana and rescinded the ban when Indiana's governor signed an amended version of the law.

“Our nation is rightfully moving toward increased acceptance and celebration of diversity," Inslee said in a statement. "The discriminatory policies being promoted by North Carolina is not something our state condones or supports."