Multnomah County suspends travel to Mississippi

Officials banned publicly funded trips to Mississippi after the state’s Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill that allows businesses to refuse service to gay couples.

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The measure allows churches, religious charities and privately held businesses to decline services to people whose lifestyles violate their religious beliefs. Individual government employees may also opt out, although the measure says governments must still provide services.

“I want to be clear that the the message from Multnomah County residents to such legislation is a resounding ‘No.’ We won’t stand by and tolerate discrimination against any of our community members. That’s why I am banning any publicly funded employee travel to Mississippi until it repeals this discriminatory law,” David Austin, communications director with Mutlnomah County, told KATU News in an email.


Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announced Wednesday that he refused to go to christening of the USS Portland in Mississippi in May.

At Wednesday’s Portland City Council meeting, Hales said, “Travel bans are often symbolic, but this time it will have a substantial impact.”

…”It would be a shame if the mayor of Portland couldn’t attend the christening of the USS Portland, but I will not travel to a state that legalizes bigotry,” Hales said.


Portland City Council voted to ban travel to North Carolina last month over another discriminatory measure that restricts public accommodations for transgendered people and stops government protection.

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