WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—In the wake of North Carolina’s enactment of HB2, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio became the first mayor in Florida to place a travel ban on city-funded trips to North Carolina.
HB2, which was passed by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory last week, nullified local LGBT rights laws in North Carolina. The law was enacted in response to an LGBT-inclusive civil rights ordinance in Charlotte, which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The Charlotte ordinance also allowed transgender people to use bathrooms, which relate to their gender identity.
“For more than two decades, West Palm Beach has been in the forefront, protecting the civil rights and ensuring equality for the LGBT community,” said Muoio. “Until North Carolina’s discriminatory law is amended or repealed, West Palm Beach taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people.”
Mayor Muoio took this action at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC), a local civil rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Since 1990, PBCHRC has been responsible for the enactment of more than 100 local laws and policies, which prohibit discrimination against the LGBT community.
“North Carolina’s leaders have struck down local LGBT-inclusive discrimination ordinances and have prohibited the enactment of similar laws forever,” said retired judge Rand Hoch, PBCHRC President and Founder. “We commend Mayor Muoio for putting her strong beliefs against bigotry into action by prohibiting taxpayer dollars being used in North Carolina.”
Numerous corporations including Apple, IBM, Facebook, Google and Wells Fargo have issued statements condemning the State of North Carolina for enacting HB2.
A travel ban to North Carolina was announced by Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco last Friday.
Last year, Muoio was one of a handful of Mayors who announced a similar travel ban to the state of Indiana, following the wake of Indiana’s passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,
As the result of pressure placed on Indiana by civic leaders, businesses, and numerous other entities, the Indiana Legislature promptly amended the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by specifying that the law could not be used as a legal defense to discriminate against patrons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
[From a News Release]