Chicago mayor to ban city travel to North Carolina over anti-LGBT law

Thu. March 31, 2016 6:31 AM by News Staff

mayor rahm emanuel in chicago pride parade, 2013

photo credit // file

Mayor Emanuel says he plans to poach North Carolina businesses

Chicago, IL - Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is issuing an executive order banning official city travel to North Carolina. 

"North Carolina's values are of exclusion and intolerance, versus tolerance and inclusion," Emanuel said during a press conference on Wednesday. "I have already been on the phone and asked my staff to develop a list of companies . . . that would be interested in (being) in a different environment from one of exclusion."

The order is expected to be issued within a day or two.

Emanuel also said he will try to poach businesses and conventions from North Carolina.

"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" into considering a move to Chicago, Emanuel said.

He did not mention any company by name, but several leading firms—including Apple, American Airlines and Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America—have objected to the new anti-LGBT law that was rushed through last week and signed by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. 

Emanuel also cited his success in luring a Whole Foods warehouse and 200 jobs from Indiana to Chicago because of that state's passage of a bill that raised concerns about discrimination against gays and lesbians. The mayor also threw in a $7.4 million subsidy.

With his move, Emanuel joins a growing group including the governor of New York and the mayors of San Francisco and Seattle in restricting travel to North Carolina.