First State to act in response to North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT legislation
Similar order to Cuomo’s in 2015 responding to Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” Bill
In a statement released Monday from his office, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order banning all non-essential state travel to North Carolina, a strong response in protest to discriminatory legislation signed last Wednesday outlawing LGBT protections.
“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,” said Governor Cuomo. “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 ground for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to that state.”
Governor Cuomo signed a similar order in 2015 banning non-essential travel to the state of Indiana after state lawmakers passed a controversial religious freedom measure failing to prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens. The measure was later amended to prevent it from being used to discriminate against LGBT citizens, in part due to the response nationwide from prominent elected officials. The travel ban was lifted following these adjustments.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 28, 2016
The Governor’s executive order can be viewed here. The full text can be found below:
PROHIBITING STATE FUNDED OR STATE SPONSORED TRAVEL TO NORTH CAROLINA
WHEREAS, New York State is a national leader in protecting the civil rights and liberties of all of its citizens;
WHEREAS, New York State in 1945 enacted the first state law against discrimination in the nation, which now prohibits discrimination on many bases including age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, gender identity, marital status, and disability;
WHEREAS, ensuring that persons are free from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a compelling state sanctioned government interest;
WHEREAS, protecting New York State from inadvertently financing discrimination against protected classes, including sexual orientation and gender identity, is a compelling state sanctioned government interest;
WHEREAS, the state of North Carolina has enacted legislation to bar transgender persons from using bathrooms and changing facilities corresponding to such persons’ gender identities, has excluded sexual orientation and gender identity from that state’s anti-discrimination protections, and has prohibited units of local government from extending such protections to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens;
WHEREAS, in a free society the equal rights of all citizens, including LGBT citizens, must be protected and cherished;
WHEREAS, in a free society the will of the many cannot be the basis for discrimination against the few;
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the state of New York to promote fairness, protect the welfare of the citizens of the state of New York, and combat discrimination;
NOW THEREFORE, I ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by my office, the New York State Constitution, and the Statutes of the state of New York, do hereby ORDER AND DIRECT:
- All agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions to review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to the state of North Carolina so long as there is law in effect there that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT citizens; and
- To bar any such publicly funded or publicly sponsored travel to such location, unless such travel is necessary for the enforcement of New York State law, to meet prior contractual obligations, or for the protection of public health, welfare, and safety.
New York State’s ban on publicly funded travel shall take effect immediately and shall continue until such law is repealed.