New York bans non-essential state travel to Mississippi
The Governor of New York has called Mississippi’s new anti-gay law ‘sad’ and ‘hateful’.
New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned all state-funded non-essential travel to Mississippi.
The ban comes in response to Republican Governor Phil Bryant signing a controversial anti-LGBT law yesterday, which many have called the most extreme of its kind.
“Discrimination is not a New York value. We believe our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will continue to reject the politics of division and exclusion,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
“This Mississippi law is a sad, hateful injustice against the LGBT community, and I will not allow any non-essential official travel to that state until it is repealed.”
Cuomo’s statement explains his order “requires all New York State agencies, departments, boards and commissions to immediately review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to the state of Mississippi, and bar any such publicly funded travel that is not essential to the enforcement of state law or public health and safety.”
House Bill 1523 permits people to discriminate based on sexual orientation in “any employment-related decision” and “any decision concerning the sale, rental, [or] occupancy of a dwelling” as long as it’s based on “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” – meaning it would be explicitly legal to sack gays and evict them, as long as it’s what Jesus told you to do.
The bill also bans the state from taking any action whatsoever against a person or business “on the basis that the person has provided or declined to provide [services]” to gay couples.
Signing the law, Bryant claimed the “bill merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom as stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizen of this state under federal or state laws,” he added.
Campaigners have warned that the state will see a strong backlash if the law is signed – similar to North Carolina – and could face a lengthy legal battle.