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North Carolina mayors beg out of state colleagues to end travel bans

Over a dozen mayors from North Carolina have begged colleagues across the country to end travel bans enforced since the state enacted an anti-trans bill.

Earlier this week the US state of California announced that it will keep in effect a state-funded travel ban to North Carolina.

And last month the mayors of various major US cities reiterated bans on public funded travel bans to North Carolina over its partially-repealed HB2 bathroom ban, saying a “deal” to repeal it does not go far enough.

States like New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC have also imposed travel bans which they say will stay in place.

And now the mayors of some of the most populous cities in North Carolina have signed a letter calling on others to end their travel bans.

The mayors of 16 cities including Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Concord and Charlotte have signed a letter calling on mayors in other parts of the country to allow state-funded travel to the state.

It says that municipalities are being harmed by the travel bans but that they are now powerless to enact ordinances to protect LGBT+ people.

The announcement from California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday comes after a partial repeal of North Carolinas HB2 bathroom bill.

Becerra said the partial repeal of HB2 earlier this month did not go far enough to stop discrimination against LGBT+ people.

Back in January, a law went into effect which banned state-funded travel from California to states like North Carolina with anti-LGBT laws on their books.

Following the deal to partially repeal HB2, mayors of several major cities reiterated travel bans and condemned the replacement bill.

Becerra governs the list of banned states, which also includes Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Hours before the state was would have lost the possibility of hosting prestigious national college basketball matches, Republican lawmakers and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper announced a deal to repeal HB2.

Governor Roy Cooper, who was largely part of the “deal”, signed the bill almost immediately.

Officially called House Bill 142, the act prohibits local authorities from regulating multi-occupancy toilets, showers or changing facilities, leaving it up to the state.

The fact that local authorities are barred from making anti-LGBT discrimination illegal until 2020 prompted an outpouring of anger from many prominent LGBT activists, with Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro calling it a “fake repeal”.

Governor Cooper, who ran for election on a platform of repealing HB2, said: “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals HB2 and begins to repair our reputation.”

In a joint statement, Majority Republican leaders Tim Moore and Phil Berger said: “Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy.”

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said the repeal bill was a “disaster” which only “doubles down on discrimination” of LGBT people in the state.

“All lawmakers, D and R, must reject #HB2 ‘deal,’ he wrote on Twitter. “Stand strong with the LGBTQ community. We will be watching who leads & who sells us out.”

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