Gov. Mark Dayton signing Safe Schools Act into law
Gov. Mark Dayton signing Safe Schools Act into law

Gov. Mark Dayton sent a letter to state employees on Saturday banning non-essential travel to North Carolina until that state reverses a recently adopted anti-LGBTQ law.

“I am proud of Minnesota for the progress we have achieved to protect the rights and dignity of all people in our state,” the letter stated. “When the rights of some Americans are threatened, it is the responsibility of all Americans to stand in opposition to those discriminatory acts. Therefore, I have instructed employees in all state agencies to refrain from traveling to North Carolina for conferences or other official state business, until the North Carolina Governor and State Legislature repeal the discriminatory law they enacted last week.”

Last week during a special session, North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill that forbids cities from enacting LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws or allowing transgender people from using the appropriate restrooms and other facilities. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory. It’s being called the most anti-LGBTQ law on the books in any state in the United States.

In addition to Minnesota’s travel ban to North Carolina, a number of other states and cities have also instituted bans. They are Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and West Palm Beach.

Dayton’s letter has already halted one trip to the Tar Heel State, the Star Tribune reports:

As a result of the governor’s directive, Metro Transit said Saturday that it will cancel plans to send some employees to the American Public Transit Association Conference and International Bus Roadeo, an annual convention to be held in Charlotte, N.C., this May.
The roadeo is a training opportunity for bus operators and maintenance teams, who compete against drivers from other cities.
Metro Transit is a state agency governed by the Metropolitan Council. “We fully support the governor’s decision and will immediately take steps to adhere to that,” said Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla.

Opponents of LGBTQ equity lashed out at Dayton. The Minnesota Family Council, formed in the early 1980s in order to preserve laws that imprisoned LGBTQ people, released a statement to WCCO on Saturday:

“North Carolina’s legislation provides protection for everyone by preserving the purpose of restrooms as safe facilities where biological needs are met. The Governor’s opposition to providing basic, essential protection for women and girls in intimate places suggests that perhaps travel should be banned to Minnesota due to our Governor’s condemnation of basic safety and privacy measures for women and girls!”

Here’s the full letter:

Download (PDF, 151KB)

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