Metro Weekly

D.C. joins bandwagon banning official state travel to North Carolina

D.C. becomes fifth major city to prohibit employees from planning official trips to North Carolina

Muriel Bowser
Mayor Muriel Bowser

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued an executive order banning all non-essential travel to North Carolina.

District employees and agencies will be restricted from visiting the Tar Heel State until officials reverse a law that repealed Charlotte’s pro-LGBT ordinance, banned other localities from passing similar ordinances, and relegated transgender people to using only restroom and changing facilities that correspond to their biological sex at birth.

“To ensure a constant voice in policy and practice in the District of Columbia in favor of equal treatment for the members of the LGBTQ communities, no officer or employee of the District of Columbia is authorized to approve any official travel to North Carolina until such time that the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act [HB 2] is permanently enjoined, repealed or amended to allow local jurisdictions to enact laws protecting the LGBTQ communities from discrimination and to enact laws allowing persons to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity,” the order, which takes effect immediately, reads.

Taking to Twitter, Bowser spread the news about her decision to issue the executive order:

Bowser’s action makes D.C. the fifth major city to ban travel to North Carolina. Previously, the mayors of San Francisco, New York City and Seattle all issued their own travel bans. Four governors — Andrew Cuomo (D-New York), Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont), Dan Malloy (D-Connecticut) and Jay Inslee (D-Washington) — have issued travel bans for state employees as well. On Thursday, the City Council in Portland, Ore., followed suit, voting to institute a similar ban on all non-essential travel. 

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has tried to defend against the growing backlash, arguing that those seeking to boycott North Carolina have a double standard by refusing to boycott cities like Houston, where voters reversed a pro-LGBT ordinance last year. In an appearance on FOX News’ Fox & Friends, McCrory particularly singled out Cuomo’s travel ban as hypocritical, declaring it “demagoguery at its worst.”

“I don’t think New York even has such a law forcing businesses to accept people of one gender to be able to use the restroom and shower facilities in their businesses, so he might need to boycott his own state at this point in time,” McCrory said.

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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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