Metro Weekly

Atlanta mayor imposes travel ban to North Carolina

Kasim Reed follows lead of several other city and state executives by issuing travel ban

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (Photo: Bernard Pollack, via Wikimedia).

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (Photo: Bernard Pollack, via Wikimedia).

Atlanta has joined a host of other cities and states banning official government travel to North Carolina in the wake of passage of a sweeping anti-LGBT bill. The move comes just after Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal (R), vetoed a similar bill that would have given social conservatives great leeway in denying goods and services to LGBT people.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed issued a statement ordering city departments to stop all non-essential, publicly-funded employee travel to North Carolina, WSB-TV reports. In that statement, Reed criticized North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the discriminatory law into effect, calling it “discriminatory and unnecessary.”

“I extend my support to Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who worked to enhance protections for the city’s LGBT population, as well as to the LGBT residents of North Carolina,” Reed said. “Every person, regardless of their gender, gender expression or sexuality is a valued member of our community.”

The new North Carolina law repealed a pro-LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council in February, but also prevented other municipalities from trying to advance legislation that counts LGBT people as a protected class under the law. As a result, only the General Assembly will have the right to add additional categories of protected classes under the state’s civil rights laws. The measure also requires transgender people to use only the restroom or changing facility that corresponds to their biological sex at birth as listed on their birth certificate, even if a person has undergone gender confirmation surgery.

Reed’s actions follow other executive orders issued by mayors of major cities and governors of various states, all Democrats. In addition to Atlanta, the District of Columbia, San Francisco, New York City and Seattle have banned public employee travel to North Carolina, as have the states of New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Minnesota and Washington State.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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