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April 18, 2017

After “Bathroom Bill” Repeal, California Maintains North Carolina Travel Ban

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A few weeks after the NCAA dropped its boycott on hosting events in North Carolina after the state repealed its controversial anti-LGBT law, California has decided to maintain its ban on publicly funded travel to the state. 

Attorney General Xavier Becerra found North Carolina’s repeal inadequate, The Sacramento Bee reports, as it still prevents local governments and universities from passing their own anti discrimination legislation. Other civil rights organizations such as Equality California criticized the repeal for the same reason. 

California’s ban on taxpayer-funded travel to states with laws that allow exemptions to anti-discrimination laws was passed last year, with North Carolina being one of four states affected for 2017. Some exemptions exist, such as those for law enforcement, tax auditors and grants. 

“Discrimination is unacceptable and we intend to protect LBGT rights. California’s law was enacted to ensure that, with limited exceptions, our taxpayer resources are not spent in states that authorize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. North Carolina’s new law does not cure the infirmity of this type of discrimination,” Becerra said in a written statement provided to the Bee.

When it first passed the legislation had sparked a backlash from the state’s hospitality and events industry. Executives from Starwood Hotels, Choice Hotels and Hilton joined a range of other businesses, along with the Human Rights Campaign, to sign an open letter calling for repeal of the legislation

According to an analysis released by the Associated Press last month, the legislation cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over the next 12 years. Financial setbacks included the loss of a PayPal facility that was being planned for the state to the cancellation of a concert by Ringo Starr. The AP compiled its analysis through interviews and public records requests. 

The law excluded gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections, and required transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in public buildings. 

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About the Author: Adam Leposa





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