Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has banned city employees from traveling to North Carolina for non-essential reasons after the state passed a law limiting LGBT protections last month.
“What we're doing is clearly expressing on behalf of the people of the city of Atlanta that we disagree with a policy position by not spending our dollars there,” Reed told reporters Tuesday.
North Carolina’s HB 2 was passed in a special session last month.
The state law overturned a Charlotte city ordinance that allowed transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. It also excluded members of the LGBT community as a protected class under North Carolina civil rights laws.
Reed called the measure “discriminatory and unnecessary” and said he hopes the travel ban sends a message to Atlanta’s LGBT community.
“We don’t want to see you bashed by other states,” Reed said.
Reed said he’s not sure how often Atlanta’s employees travel to North Carolina or how much money the city spends in the state but said the ban would remain in place until North Carolina changes its law.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s office did not respond to our request for comment on the travel ban. Cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston have also issued similar bans in response to the law.
Reed also openly opposed a “religious liberty” bill in Georgia that some argued would lead to discrimination against members of the LGBT community. That measure made it through the state legislature but Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed it last week.
A similar “religious liberty” bill was signed into law in Mississippi Tuesday.