D.C. mayor bans publicly funded travel to TN

Washington, D.C., 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.

Further from Michael Collins:

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The ban will remain in effect until the Tennessee law is “permanently enjoined, repealed or amended.”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. The law allows licensed counselors and therapists to deny service to counselors whose “goals, outcomes or behaviors” conflict with the counselor’s “sincerely held principles” — a measure the American Counseling Association had denounced as a “hate bill” against gay and transgender people.

…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.” Earlier this month, the American Counseling Association canceled its annual conference, which was set to be held in Nashville next year, in protest of the new law.