Gov. Mark Dayton, in response to Mississippi making it legal for people there to be denied service based on sexual orientation, instructed Minnesota state employees to refrain from any nonessential travel to that Southern state as long as its law remains in force.
The law that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed Tuesday allows religious groups and private businesses to deny services to gay and transgender people and follows similar attempts in other states that have been made since last year’s Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide. Bryant, a Republican, said the law protects religious freedom. It takes effect July 1.
Dayton’s move Wednesday follows the same order he issued Saturday aimed at North Carolina over that state’s efforts to limit gay rights.
“This act of discrimination is discriminatory against many Mississippi residents and violates their constitutional rights,” Dayton said in a statement that accompanied his directive. “We cannot allow this injustice to go unanswered. When the rights of some Americans are threatened, it is the responsibility of all Americans to stand in opposition to those discriminatory acts.”
Lt. Governor Tina Smith, weighed in, saying, “The discriminatory laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi are not who we are. The Mississippi law undoes years of progress protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.”
GOPUSA Editor’s Note: Has common sense gone completely out the window? What is with the media and government’s pushing an agenda that supports abnormal behavior? North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said it best: “If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it.”
In the wake of his directive regarding state travel to North Carolina, Metro Transit said it was canceling plans to send employees to the American Public Transit Association Conference and International Bus Roadeo, an annual convention to be held in Charlotte, N.C., in 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.
Following Dayton’s North Carolina directive, a statement issued Tuesday by the Minnesota Republican Party called the governor’s action “one of the grandest and most bizarre political panderings of all time.”
The Minnesota GOP statement went on to question what is meant by “nonessential travel,” saying, “The fact that state employees are taking ‘nonessential’ trips on the taxpayers’ dime warrants an audit in the first place.”
Last week, Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a similar religious objections bill after big companies including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and others expressed vehement opposition, and national sports organizations hinted that they might hold their important events elsewhere. In North Carolina, an economic backlash broadened Tuesday, with PayPal announcing it has canceled a major expansion in the state.
At the Minnesota State Capitol, a group of Republican legislators recently unveiled a proposal that would require people to use bathrooms and changing rooms that match their “biological sex.” The measure would govern the use of public restrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms.
South Dakota’s governor vetoed a proposal limiting bathroom options for transgender people.
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