Reed to Charlotte: The travel ban stays

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts wants Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and other elected officials, to rescind travel bans imposed on their employees doing business in North Carolina.

Reed, Friday afternoon, said no dice.

Hizzoner, and the mayors of New York, San Francisco and Seattle, prohibited non-essential travel to the Tar Heel State after its governor signed legislation deemed discriminatory to gays, lesbians and transgendered people. The law also prohibits municipalities from establishing their own anti-discrimination ordinances and denies transgendered men and women the choice of bathroom.

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory’s signing of HB 2, in response to Charlotte’s passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance, has caused a national uproar beyond the banning of travel by cities and states. Corporations have canceled, and threatened to cancel, projects in North Carolina.

Conventions and movie-shoots have also moved elsewhere. Professional and collegiate sports leagues are threatening to boycott North Carolina. Atlanta, for example, has made a pitch for the 2017 NBA all-star game scheduled for Charlotte.

“I would like for the cities to lift the bans,” Mayor Roberts told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That would be very helpful for Charlotte. And it would be great to have conversations with those city leaders when they come here so we can learn from each other how we can help bring the values of diversity forward.”

A Reed spokesperson, in a statement, responded: “Mayor Reed appreciates the difficult position Mayor Roberts is in. (But) his decision to implement a travel ban was based on his principles of unqualified support for the LGBTQ community here in Atlanta. Our city is home to many LGBTQ residents, and they deserve to know their tax dollars are not subsidizing discriminatory policies in North Carolina. The travel ban is about sending a message of support for the affected communities and opposition to Governor McCrory and the lawmakers who approved HB 2. Everyone is valued in the City of Atlanta.”

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