At least four cities that banned government travel to North Carolina over House Bill 2 said this week that they’re keeping the bans in place because they argue the HB2 replacement law is inadequate.
Five states also banned government travel to North Carolina, but governors haven’t announced if they’ll keep the bans. The cities keeping travel bans are Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Fe, N.M., and Salt Lake City, Utah.
“N. Carolina’s failure to fully repeal HB2 & end loopholes allowing LGBTQ bigotry means we stand by policies barring government travel there,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray tweeted late Monday night.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement saying that the replacement law “is not a reset of the law, but another scheme that will allow for state-sanctioned discrimination against a community that is already facing intense pressure.”
The mayors are taking issue with the HB2 replacement law’s provision banning local governments from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances until December 2020.
“In Santa Fe, we stood up to ensure that every individual, regardless of their gender identity, will feel safe here,” Mayor Javier Gonzalez posted on Twitter. “North Carolina shouldn’t stand in the way of their cities who want to do the same, and until they make it right, we have no intention of changing the ban on non-essential travel that is our current policy.”
N.C. Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Hendersonville Republican involved in the HB2 compromise, fired back on Twitter at the Seattle mayor. “Having worked & voted to repeal H 2, I’ll not be traveling to your city, Mayor,” he wrote.
The fate of states’ travel bans is less clear. Washington, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and Minnesota had banned government-funded travel – including travel by college sports teams – to North Carolina over HB2. Washington state’s ban automatically ended because it only applied while HB2 was in effect “in its current form.”