Travel ban issued due to 'discriminatory and unnecessary legislation'

ATLANTA — Atlanta’s mayor has issued a travel ban to North Carolina.

This comes after controversy over a nondiscrimination bill that some believe allows for discrimination.

Mayor Kasim Reed’s office issued the following statement Monday:

"As a result of Governor Pat McCrory's decision to sign discriminatory and unnecessary legislation into law, effective today I am directing all City departments to stop non-essential, publicly-funded employee travel to the State of North Carolina.

"I extend my support to Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who worked to enhance protections for the city's LGBT population, as well as to the LGBT residents of North Carolina. Every person, regardless of their gender, gender expression or sexuality is a valued member of our community."

The new North Carolina law blocked the city of Charlotte's rules and prevented other local governments from approving similar ordinances. And government agencies of all kinds must now require people who use multi-stall public restrooms to use the one that corresponds with their biological sex.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Boston's city council also banned government-connected travel to North Carolina as a sign of opposition to the law. Similar travel bans have been issued by the governors of Washington, New York and Connecticut and by other cities.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton sent a letter on Saturday banning state employees from nonessential travel to North Carolina because of the law. He directed all state workers to stop all nonessential travel to North Carolina for conferences or other official state business until further notice.

Atlanta is now the latest among several cities and states that have issued similar bans.

Posted by WSB-TV on Monday, April 4, 2016

Last month, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a similar bill known as the Religious Freedom bill.

The measure would have barred government penalties against faith-based organizations that refuse to serve someone if it would violate a "sincerely held religious belief" or hire someone "whose religious beliefs or practices or lack of either" violate its religion. It includes language based on a federal "religious freedom restoration act," preventing government from burdening religious belief.

Public employees who refused to perform their duties, such as a probate judge issuing marriage licenses, would not have be covered. The bill said it does not permit discrimination prohibited by federal or state law.

It would have also allowed religious officials to refuse performing gay marriages and protect any individual who refuses to attend a marriage that conflicts with their faith.

Some of the area's highest profile businesses threatened to pull business from the state had the religious freedom bill passed.

The NFL had even hinted at

had the law passed.

In a very similar fashion, NCAA President Mark Emmert says he has spoken to North Carolina's governor about the state's new law excluding LGBT people from antidiscrimination protections, making clear if it remains in place it will affect the state's chances to host major college athletic events

Last week, the Atlanta City Council

after the North Carolina bill went into effect.

 
“The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events. We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principals of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte,” the NBA said in a statement. 

The game is currently scheduled to be held on Sunday, February 17, 2017.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)