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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has banned city officials from taking “non-essential publicly-funded” trips to North Carolina and Mississippi in protest of the states’ recent laws that condone discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
The mayor’s decision is part of a national backlash against the anti-LGBT laws.
A gay marriage supporter celebrates passage of same-sex marriage legislation at the Hawaii State Capitol in 2013.
PF Bentley/Civil Beat
The New York Times reported that companies including PayPal have refused to invest in North Carolina, and mayors and governors from several states, including New York, have banned most government-sponsored travel there.
“Hopefully, common sense and our core American values of equality and tolerance will prevail in these states, allowing us to lift this moratorium,” Caldwell said in a press release.
Caldwell has joined a group called Mayors Against Discrimination made up of mayors from San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Oakland, Sante Fe, Washington, D.C., and Tampa.
Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage three years ago and is now promoting itself as a wedding destination for gay couples.
Michael Golojuch, Jr., chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, issued a press release praising Caldwell and urging the Gov. David Ige and neighbor island mayors to follow suit.
“The LGBT Caucus asked Mayor Caldwell to protect our public employees and send a message loud and clear that the City and County of Honolulu doesn’t discrimination against the LGBT community and today he went above and beyond,” Golojuch wrote. “Today’s travel ban is a victory for everyone that believes discrimination has no place in America.”
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