Inslee bans non-essential state-funded travel to North Carolina

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee issued a memo Tuesday to state agencies prohibiting non-essential state-funded travel to North Carolina “in light of that state’s legislation allowing discrimination against transgender men and women.”

“Our nation is rightfully moving toward increased acceptance and celebration of diversity. The discriminatory policies being promoted by North Carolina is not something our state condones or supports,” Inslee said in a news release.

The move comes one day after Seattle Mayor Ed Murray barred city employees from traveling to North Carolina on business. Similar moves were taken by New York City, San Francisco and New York state.

The North Carolina measure was passed last week in a special session by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. It blocks local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules to grant protections to gay and transgender people. It also bars transgender people from using the single-sex restrooms and changing rooms that correspond to their gender identity.

In a news release, Inslee said he appreciates the Washington State Human Rights Commission’s work on recently adopted new rules affirming the rights of transgender men and women to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

“Washington is a state where everyone should feel free to be who they are without fear of discrimination, intimidation or harassment. It’s important that our state laws, policies and practices reflect the values and realities of the people we serve,” he said.