Connecticut latest state to ban travel to North Carolina

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is banning state-funded travel to North Carolina in response to a new law there that he and other critics have called discriminatory to members of the LGBT community.

The Democrat signed an executive order Thursday requiring state agencies, the Board of Regents and the University of Connecticut to review and deny requests for travel to North Carolina. The order comes a day after Malloy sent a letter to North Carolina businesses, urging them to move to Connecticut because it's "welcoming and inclusive."

Connecticut now joins New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington with such bans on state government travel.

Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law March 23 preventing local governments from protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when they use public accommodations.

Malloy signed a similar order last year temporarily barring travel to Indiana.

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The chief executives running dozens of big technology, biotech and financial companies are urging North Carolina officials to repeal a new state law preventing local governments from expanding protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The letter released Tuesday by gay rights advocates is signed by corporate chieftains including IBM CEO Virginia Rometty, Apple head Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

The letter urges Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders to repeal the law introduced and passed in a one-day special legislative session last week. The General Assembly meets again next month.

The law requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that match their birth certificates. The law also makes clear local measures can't expand anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation or gender identity.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned all non-essential state travel to North Carolina in the wake of that state's decision to overturn an ordinance on transgender rights.

The ban, which was signed by executive order on Monday, requires all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions to immediately review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to North Carolina.

In a statement, the Democratic governor said New York "will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past."

North Carolina lawmakers last week voided a Charlotte ordinance that would have enabled transgender people to legally use restrooms aligned with their gender identity.

Backers of the state law say it was needed to prevent predators from using restrooms marked for the opposite sex.

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has banned city workers from non-essential travel to North Carolina after that state approved legislation preventing anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Lee said in a statement Friday that residents in the city with a large gay and lesbian population "will not subsidize legally sanctioned discrimination." He says the new law turns back the clock on civil rights protections.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McGrory signed legislation this week voiding a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to legally use restrooms aligned with their gender identity. The ordinance also would have provided wide protections against discrimination in public accommodations.

The law prevents cities and counties from passing anti-discrimination rules and imposes a statewide standard that leaves out protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)