Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will not only prepare an order banning travel to North Carolina for non-essential city business, but he'll use the passage of virulently anti-LGBT legislation as an opportunity to recruit businesses from the Tar Heel state, according to reports.
In comments at a March 30 event, Emanuel said, "When Indiana … expressed intolerance, I immediately not only expressed our views but went about recruiting companies that did not want to be part of a state with those values, but wanted to be in a city or a state with the values of inclusion," according to Chicago Sun-Times.
Emanuel attributed the re-location of a Whole Foods distribution warehouse from Indiana to Pullman to early conversations stemming from Indiana's attempt to implement anti-LGBT legislation in early 2015. He is also putting in place a travel ban to North Carolina on non-essential city business.
"Not only are we doing the executive order as it relates to travel. I have already been on the phone and have asked my staff to draw up a list of companies that we think we can talk," Emanuel said.
A number of businesses, many with significant presences in North Carolina urban centers, have objected to the North Carolina law, which was rushed through both legislative houses and signed by Governor Pat McCrory on the same day. American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and Equality North Carolina are now suing the state over the matter.
The travel ban was requested March 29 in a letter from members of the City Council's LGBT Caucus as well as 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke.
The letter to Emanuel states, "As you are aware, the state of North Carolina has enacted legislation which bars transgender persons from using bathrooms and changing facilities corresponding to such person's gender identities, excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from its anti-discrimination protections, and prohibits units of local government from extending such protections to LGBT citizens. …Chicago is on record supporting efforts to promote mutual understanding and respect among all people who live and work in our great City.
"…You have been a tireless leader on LGBT issues in Chicago and we are hopeful that you will lead us again in standing in solidarity with New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle, which have taken similar actions to condemn North Carolina's discriminatory law."
Governor Andrew Cuomo also implemented such a ban for New York State.
Members of the LGBT Caucus include Alds. Raymond Lopez ( 15th ), Deb Mell ( 33rd ), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa ( 35th ), Tom Tunney ( 44th ) and James Cappleman ( 46th ).
Chicago Sun-Times' article is at bit.ly/1RAuVLG .
Earlier Windy City Times coverage at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/LGBT-Caucus-asks-Emanuel-to-consider-North-Carolina-travel-ban/54731.html .