Miami Beach

Miami Beach bans travel to North Carolina, Mississippi over LGBT laws

State Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on Sunday aboard the SAVE float at the annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade.
State Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on Sunday aboard the SAVE float at the annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade. srothaus@miamiherald.com

Add Miami Beach to the wave of U.S. cities that have banned official travel to North Carolina and Mississippi amid controversy over recent legislation in those states that discriminates against the LGBT community.

The commission unanimously passed the ban, as well as a moratorium on purchasing goods or services sourced there, until those anti-LGBT laws are repealed or ruled unconstitutional. The measure was proposed by Mayor Philip Levine.

“I am proud that my colleagues stand behind me to send this message on behalf of the City of Miami Beach that we will not tolerate this discrimination,” said Levine in a statement. “The city of Miami Beach stands in support of our LGBT community and will further push to achieve equality in all of our country.”

The resolution does not cancel any existing contracts; it applies to all future agreements.

We need to send an important message to our own leaders in Tallahassee that we can’t have this kind of legislation passed in the state of Florida.

State Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach

State Rep. David Richardson, Florida’s first openly gay legislator, commended the commission on Wednesday. He said the ban on doing business with companies from those states will send a strong message.

“We need to send an important message to our own leaders in Tallahassee that we can’t have this kind of legislation passed in the state of Florida,” said Richardson, D-Miami Beach, in an interview with the Miami Herald. “It’s really bad for business. There’s really not a better way to touch someone than through their wallet.”

A number of cities across the nation are passing similar legislation, including New York, San Francisco, Seattle and West Palm Beach.

North Carolina has been the focus of national attention in recent weeks after it approved laws that eliminate protections for members of the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual community. After Charlotte passed a law that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, state legislators overturned the law and prevented local government from creating nondiscrimination laws.

Joey Flechas: 305-376-3602, @joeflech

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