Gov. Baker Won’t Ban State Travel to North Carolina Over Transgender Law
Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t ready to ban state-sponsored travel to North Carolina just yet.
While his fellow governors in New York and Vermont have banned state-sponsored travel to North Carolina over its new transgender bill, Baker, a Republican, isn’t budging.
“Governor Baker disagrees with the North Carolina law and is proud that Massachusetts has been and will continue to be a leader on equality, but is not proposing any restrictions on the ability of the Commonwealth’s employees to do their important work,” Baker spokesperson Tim Buckley told the Globe Tuesday.
North Carolina’s new legislation bans transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. It also blocks local governments from passing their own anti-discrimination measures protecting LGBT people.
“We have pretty limited travel at this point in time anyway, and unless somebody has a really good reason for going there, we would expect people certainly between now and the end of the legislative session [in July] to be spending their time here,” Baker said earlier Tuesday. “I’m not aware of anybody who’s traveling to North Carolina anytime soon.”
The Boston City Council has banned all city-sponsored travel to North Carolina, with Councilor Josh Zakim leading the charge.
“In Boston we take great pride in leading on issues of social justice and LGBTQ equality, and we have a continuing obligation to uphold this mission whenever there is an opportunity to do so,” Zakim said last week. “That includes standing up and speaking out in the face of oppression and discrimination. SB 2 disrespects and denigrates all LGBTQ individuals who set foot in North Carolina, a group that includes many Boston residents.”
Transgender advocates, like Attorney General Maura Healey, have pushed for passage of an anti-discrimination bill currently sputtering atop Beacon Hill. Baker has yet to take a position on the bill, and has previously opposed similar legislation.