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Chicago mayor reaffirms ban on travel to NC due to anti-LGBTQ law
by Matt Simonette

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced, on April 13, that he would introduce a resolution reaffirming the city's previous ban on non-essential travel to North Carolina for employees on city business. The resolution was slated to be introduced at the April 19 City Council meeting.

"As a welcoming city for all, we are clear on our values of tolerance and inclusion, and we won't stand by idly when discriminatory policies threaten the rights of any single group or community," said Emanuel in a statement. "Until North Carolina acknowledges the rights of the LGBTQ community and treats all individuals fairly, the City of Chicago will be taking our business elsewhere, and we encourage others to do the same."

Emanuel announced an executive order banning travel to North Carolina in March 2016. That state recently rescinded HB 2, the initial bill that, among other components, banned transgender residents and visitors from using public accommodations of the gender with they identified. But its replacement law was regarded by rights-advocates as equally oppressive, as it forbade municipalities from implanting their own anti-discrimination ordinances.

Mona Noriega, chair and commissioner of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, said the April 13 action "demonstrates that Chicago remains committed to protecting all groups from discrimination. We have made so much progress toward improving inclusion of LGBTQ individuals in recent years, and this action makes clear that Chicago stands up for the rights of all individuals and against discrimination in any form."

"Today's commitment by Mayor Emanuel shows that Chicago will not tolerate discrimination," added 44th Ward Alderman and LGBT Caucus chair, Tom Tunney. "While it's unfortunate that discriminatory practices are being upheld by the State of North Carolina, the City Council stands with people regardless of sexuality or gender identity, and is steadfastly committed to ensuring Chicago remains a haven for all people."

A similar ban was approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners in April 2016.

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