Broward News

Broward Could Ban Employee Travel to North Carolina, Mississippi Over Anti-LGBT and Bathroom Laws

Broward County's Human Rights Board last week recommended that the County Commission prohibit county-funded employee travel to North Carolina and Mississippi to condemn legislation recently passed in those states that is seen as discriminatory to gay, lesbian, and transgender people. 

On March 22, North Carolina passed the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which requires public agencies to establish male and female bathrooms to be used in accordance with one's "biological sex" — the gender listed on a person's birth certificate. 

On April 5, Mississippi passed the Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act, which protects people who refuse to offer services because of religious beliefs. Under it, public employees and businesses cannot be punished for acting in accordance with their beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman, that sex should take place only within a marriage, and that one's gender is determined at birth.  

The legislation has inspired public backlash, with PayPal backing out of a plan to create 400 jobs in North Carolina and the NBA threatening to move an All Star game from Charlotte. 

Miami Beach and Wilton Manors have both banned  city-funded employee travel to North Carolina and Mississippi. The Miami Beach resolution also set a moratorium on goods and services sourced in those states. 

Broward County's Human Rights Board met April 11 and unanimously recommended that Broward take similar action by holding a news conference and using "home rule powers to provide nondiscrimination protections exceeding state and federal law and prohibiting employee travel to those states for work purposes unless such travel is required due to emergency situations." 

The commission is set to discuss the matter at a 10 a.m. meeting today. 

Here's a memo from Human Rights Board Chair Michael Rajner: