The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to boycott North Carolina and Mississippi, two states where laws discriminating against transgender and gay people were recently adopted.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin. Photo by John Schreiber.

The North Carolina law “overturns all state protections for gay and lesbians and puts new discrimination on the books,” according to Councilman Mike Bonin, who proposed the resolution that was approved on a 12-0 vote.

That law is also particularly hurtful to transgender people, because they would be permitted to only use bathrooms that match the sex designation on their birth certificate, and not by the gender they identify with, he said.

Bonin said the Mississippi law allows rental car businesses to turn away gay couples, and allows for suicide hotline counselors to refuse to help people who are gay.

Bonin said under the boycott, the city would avoid doing business with the two governments and put a ban on city employees making official visits to the states until the two laws are repealed.

“When the state sanctions hatred and the state endorses discrimination, hatred and discrimination increases,” creating a “climate of intolerance and a climate of violence,” Bonin said.

People will be fired from their jobs, hate crimes will go up and young people who are “struggling with their identity are going to be bullied and some of them will ponder suicide,” he charged.

“That’s not what Los Angeles stands for.”

Los Angeles joins other cities like New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Cincinnati, Santa Fe, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, as well as the states of Connecticut, Minnesota, New York and Vermont in the boycott of North Carolina.

— City News Service

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