Washington has become the second city to ban publicly funded travel to Tennessee over the state’s controversial new law allowing mental health counselors to deny services to gay, lesbian and transgender clients and others.
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s order, issued May 11 and published Friday in the city’s official legal bulletin, bars all city-funded travel to the Volunteer State on the grounds that the law could be “particularly harmful” to the LGBT community.
Official travel to Tennessee is prohibited “to ensure a constant voice in policy and practice in the District of Columbia in favor of equal treatment for all,” the order says.
The ban will remain in effect until the Tennessee law is “permanently enjoined, repealed or amended.”
Washington’s ban is the latest repercussion for Tennessee over its new law, which Gov. Bill Haslam signed late last month.
Last week, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney banned all publicly funded, non-essential travel to Tennessee, saying the law “infringes on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.”
The American Counseling Association, which has denounced the law as a “hate bill” against gay and transgender people, canceled its annual conference in Nashville next year in protest of the new law.