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Just a couple of weeks after she instituted a ban on D.C. government travel to North Carolina, Mayor Muriel Bowser has also restricted official trips to Mississippi, where an anti-LGBTQ bill became law last week.
The law, which allows private organizations like churches and businesses to refuse to accommodate people if doing so would violate those organizations’ beliefs, has already stirred national backlash. In a newsletter sent on Monday, the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs announced the new ban.
“Mayor’s Order 2016-058 states ‘Mississippi recently enacted the Religious Liberty Accommodations Act which permits business and non-profit groups to use religious beliefs as justification in refusing to provide services or uphold decision, such as workplace policies, to people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity,'” the newsletter reads. “The District of Columbia is one of very few jurisdictions in the nation that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and physical appearance.”
Last week, D.C. Councilmember David Grosso and several of his colleagues introduced a bill that would bar local government agencies from using funds on travel to any state that “affirmatively sanctions or requires discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery