- The Washington Times - Friday, April 1, 2016

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday issued an order banning all official travel to North Carolina after the state banned its local governments from passing certain nondiscrimination laws based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

“To ensure a constant voice in policy and practice in the District of Columbia that is in favor of equal treatment for 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travel to North Carolina until such time that the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act is permanently enjoined, repealed or amended to allow local jurisdictions to enact laws protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination and to enact laws allowing person to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity,” Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, said in a statement Friday.

The North Carolina law, passed last week, makes it so transgender individuals must use bathrooms that correspond with their biological gender rather than the gender with which they identify. It also prevents local jurisdictions from passing legislation defying the law.

Ms. Bowser joined several governors and lawmakers from other cities who, in the last week, have banned official travel for city and state employees to North Carolina.

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that banned official travel to the Tarheel state. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, along with the Portland and Boston City Councils, issued similar orders this week.

“As long as there is a law in North Carolina that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to that state,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement. “From Stonewall to marriage equality, our state has been a beacon of hope and equality for the LGBT community, and we will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past.”

• Ryan M. McDermott can be reached at rmcdermott@washingtontimes.com.

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