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Boston Bans City-Sponsored Travel To North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, seen here on Feb. 20, has signed into law a bill blocking anti-discrimination rules that would protect gay and transgender people. (Cliff Owen/AP)
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, seen here on Feb. 20, has signed into law a bill blocking anti-discrimination rules that would protect gay and transgender people. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Boston is banning all non-essential city-sponsored travel to North Carolina in the wake of the state's passage of a controversial law.

The law, passed last week, blocks local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules that would offer protections to gay and transgender people. Among other things, it requires people to use public restrooms that correspond to their biological sex and not necessarily their gender identity.

By a unanimous vote on Wednesday, Boston's 13-member City Council passed the travel ban ordinance which was proposed by City Councilor Josh Zakim. There are exceptions for public safety, public health and contractual reasons.

"We're putting our money where our mouth is. I think it's an important statement of our values, which is what we're talking about when we're talking about our budgeting power and the spending power of the city," Zakim said. "We want to make sure that we're talking with one voice when we join millions across the country who've spoken out against discrimination."

The mayors of Seattle and San Francisco have also banned non-essential travel, as have some private companies and organizations, and the state of New York.

Mayor Marty Walsh signed the measure shortly after it was passed, saying in a statement: "In Boston we believe that all individuals should be treated equally." It goes into effect immediately.

Earlier:

Delores Handy Twitter Reporter
Delores Handy was formerly a host and reporter at WBUR.

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