Royal Oak Mayor Announces Travel Ban to North Carolina


Mayor Jim Ellison

ROYAL OAK - In response to North Carolina's House Bill 2 prohibiting local leaders from passing and enforcing anti-discrimination laws, the Royal Oak City Commission unanimously approved Mayor Jim Ellison's proposal April 11 that prohibits the city from using public resources to fund, sponsor or in anyway support nonessential travel to the state of North Carolina.

"Royal Oak supports equality, and in keeping consistent with the values of our community we will not spend public money in states that are actively undermining and rolling back the basic human rights of their citizens," said Ellison. "It's important that cities like ours send a message to leaders in North Carolina and across the country that all people deserve equal protections under the law, and that we stand in solidarity with the LGBT community in opposing discrimination."

On March 23 the North Carolina state Legislature passed HB 2 which was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory 12 hours later. The measure prohibits local governments in the state from adopting anti-discrimination ordinances, such as a human rights ordinance strongly supported by Royal Oak voters in 2013.

Royal Oak's human rights ordinance bans discrimination against sex, sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, public accommodations and employment.

Under Ellison's leadership, Royal Oak is the first city in Michigan to adopt a no-travel policy in the wake of North Carolina's new law. However, many other states and major cities across the country have adopted similar actions.

Ellison joins a coalition of mayors across the nation, spearheaded by San Francisco's Mayor Edwin M. Lee, in fighting discrimination and ensuring the protection of fundamental human rights nationwide. The newly formed coalition, Mayors Against Discrimination, counts among its members New York's Bill de Blasio; Seattle's Ed Murray; Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser; and the mayors of Portland, Tampa, Santa Fe, Oakland, Honolulu and others.

"It is unconscionable that in 2016 we are still debating whether all people should be treated equally," said Ellison. "Royal Oak will keep this policy in place until North Carolina repeals their unconscionable pro-discrimination law."

Jim Ellison is seeking the Democratic nomination running as the Democratic candidate for Michigan's House of Representatives in the 26th District, encompassing the cities of Royal Oak and Madison Heights.


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