Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake sent a letter to city officials announcing she banned official travel to Mississippi and North Carolina because of their new “religious freedom” laws.
Rawlings-Blake sent the letter Tuesday, which says she will not authorize any official city travel to the states “while the current discriminatory situation exists,” The Baltimore Sun reports. She joins the mayors of San Francisco, New York City and Seattle, who have already banned official travel to North Carolina.
“I am hopeful that our efforts, combined with those of so many other progressive governments and companies, will push North Carolina and Mississippi to make the changes necessary to respect all citizens,” Rawlings-Blake wrote.
The North Carolina battle began when Charlotte’s city council passed an ordinance allowing people to use the bathroom for the gender they choose. In response to the city’s ordinance, the state passed HB2, which requires people use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificates and bans local governments from making LGBT ordinances. The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU of North Carolina filed suit in late March saying the new law allows businesses to refuse to serve or hire LGBT people and leaves them no legal recourse. Now, North Carolina and the Department of Justice are suing each other over the dispute.
Mississippi passed a law in April saying people can refuse service based on their belief that sex belongs within marriage, that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender corresponds with a person’s anatomical gender at birth. Currently, the state is facing a lawsuit from the ACLU.
“All city agencies should not bring any North Carolina or Mississippi travel requests to the Board of Estimates until the situates changes,” Rawlings-Blake wrote in the letter.
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