New York and San Francisco have both banned travel to North Carolina – after the state introduced an anti-gay law.

Last week the state of North Carolina passed a law which voids all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, as well as permitting businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.

The new law, signed into law by Republican Governor Pat McCrory, also bans transgender students in public schools from using their preferred bathroom.

McCrory’s decision has attracted a legal challenge as well as a growing boycott of the state – with two of the largest cities in the US opting to ban travel to the North Carolina.

In close succession, the Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced travel bans.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the ban would be in place for city employees, explaining: “We’ve initiated a non-essential travel ban for North Carolina as of today.”

The Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo extended it to state employees too, adding: “In New York, we believe that all people – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – deserve the same rights and protections under the law.

“From Stonewall to marriage equality, our state has been a beacon of hope and equality for the LGBT community, and we will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past.

“As long as there is a law in North Carolina that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to that state.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee banned all non-essential travel to North Carolina for employees, explaining: ““We are standing united as San Franciscans to condemn North Carolina’s new discriminatory law that turns back the clock on protecting the rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

“Effective immediately, I am directing City Departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of North Carolina that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety.”