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Baltimore Mayor Bans Government Travel To NC, Mississippi, Amid Bathroom Law

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)—Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has issued a government travel ban to North Carolina and Mississippi over the states' controversial public restroom laws.

In an internal letter to city officials on Tuesday, Rawlings-Blake says," As I have indicated to you in our individual conversations, I will not authorize any city-sponsored travel to those states while the current discriminatory situation exists."

The travel ban comes in the wake of a controversial law surrounding transgender people's rights to use public restrooms.

In March, the North Carolina legislature — reacting to a Houston-style nondiscrimination ordinance adopted by the city of Charlotte — hastily passed a law which limits protections for LGBT people and requires transgender people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. The law has been assailed by gay-rights groups, businesses, sports leagues and entertainers, and is now the subject of the dueling state and federal lawsuits.

On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department weighed in, suing to overturn North Carolina's new law restricting transgender bathroom access and warning that any similar measures elsewhere in the country could also face challenges on grounds they violate federal nondiscrimination rules. North Carolina has sued to keep the law in place.

Several other states in recent months have proposed similar laws limiting protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi sued that state over a law that will allow workers to cite their religious objections to gay marriage to deny services to people.

"All city agencies should not bring any North Carolina or Mississippi travel requests to the Board of Estimates until the situates changes," said Rawlings Blake.

RELATED: READ the full letter HERE.

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