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County: No travel to states with “discriminatory” laws

May 6, 2017 GMT

The Dane County Board has passed an amendment prohibiting county employees from traveling to states that have “discriminatory legislation.”

Under the amendment, which passed 30-1 Thursday, no elected county officials or county employees will be required to travel to a state or have their expenses reimbursed if they travel to a state that has discriminatory outcomes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

County Executive Joe Parisi issued a similar travel ban in 2016, barring nonessential county travel to North Carolina and Mississippi, which had enacted laws Parisi had said were discriminatory.

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The county defined states with discriminatory legislation as states that have enacted laws that void or repeal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people or authorize discrimination against LGBT people.

“Dane County does not support discrimination of any person, and that’s always been a value of the county,” said Sup. Chuck Erickson, who introduced the amendment.

Erickson said he hopes the amendment will demonstrate that the county will not spend money in states that have discriminatory laws. He used North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill” and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act as examples of state laws that he said have supported discrimination.

“It’s a stand of solidarity with individuals who have experienced that kind of discrimination,” Chairwoman Sharon Corrigan said.

The amendment does have exceptions, including travel that the sheriff deems necessary and travel for juvenile residential treatment placements.

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