SANTA FE (KRQE) – The City of Santa Fe has issued orders for city employees to avoid traveling to two more places over anti-LGBT laws.
Changes to the city’s travel policy started when Indiana passed a religious freedom law last year. Santa Fe now says Mississippi and North Carolina are off the list of official city business destinations.
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales joins the mayors of New York, Seattle, San Francisco and others enacting travel bans.
“To the citizens of Santa Fe, it sends a very strong and powerful message that we’re not going to use taxpayer dollar to support states that actively discriminate against a class of people,” Gonzales said.
North Carolina’s bill requires people to use public restrooms based on the sex listed on their birth certificate. On Tuesday, Mississippi passed a bill that allows government employees and private businesses to cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.
“It protects religious freedom, people with deeply held religious beliefs,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, a Mississippi’s Republican governor.
“What this is, is a slap in the face for every person in those states who has fought for equality,” Gonzales said.
North Carolina’s governor weighed in on the Fox News Channel.
“If you’re a man and you have the anatomy of a man, you shouldn’t use the women’s restroom, shower or locker room facility. It’s basic common sense,” said Gov. Pat McCrory.
“It’s continued rhetoric that drives fear in communities,” Gonzales said when asked about McCrory’s remarks.
Gonzales said bathroom legislation, like that passed in Santa Fe, is focused on creating single stall, gender-neutral bathrooms much like a doctor’s office or airplane, so that it’s a safe place for a transgender person.
Gonzales said for Santa Fe, it’s a symbolic step.
He added that essential travel, such as critical law enforcement training or hunting down a fugitive, would go on as usual.