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Friday, April 8, 2016

Governor Cuomo Bans Non-Essential State Travel to Mississippi

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order banning all non-essential state travel to Mississippi. The 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.

The ban, which takes effect immediately, follows Mississippi’s enactment of a discriminatory law that allows business and non-profit groups to refuse service to people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

“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,” said Governor Cuomo. “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injustice against the LGBT community, and I will not allow any non-essential official travel to that state until it is repealed.” 

Last month, Governor Cuomo also banned non-essential state travel to North Carolina, following that state’s enactment of a law which bars transgender individuals from using restrooms appropriate for their gender identities, excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from state anti-discrimination protections, and prohibits municipalities from extending those protections to LGBT citizens.

In 2015, Governor Cuomo banned non-essential state travel to the state of Indiana after that state’s legislature passed a controversial religious freedom measure that did not prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens. The Indiana measure was later amended to prevent it from being used to discriminate against LGBT residents and travelers in Indiana, and that travel ban was lifted.

The Governor’s executive order banning non-essential travel to Mississippi is available here

New York State’s ban on publicly funded travel shall take effect immediately and shall continue until such law is repealed.

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