San Francisco bans city employees from travelling to North Carolina after anti-LGBT bill

San Francisco has banned employees of the city from travelling to North Carolina.

The move comes after the state passed HB2, in a specially called session of the House and Senate, in response to a local LGBT protections law in Charlotte.

The bill voids any existing local laws passed to protect LGBT people, as well as barring local authorities from passing new protections into law.

HB2 was signed by Governor Pat McCrory shortly after it was passed in the House and Senate, which saw Democrats walk out rather than debate the bill.

Related: This trans man blew away North Carolina’s new bigoted law with just one picture

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, in a statement, said unless “absolutely” necessary, city staff should not travel to North Carolina.

“We are standing united as San Franciscans to condemn North Carolina’s new discriminatory law that turns back the clock on protecting the rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,” he said.

He continued: “Effective immediately, I am directing city departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded city employee travel to the state of North Carolina that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety.”

The Human Rights Campaign has heavily criticised the state for passing the bill and for Governor McCrory for signing it.

“McCrory’s reckless decision to sign this appalling legislation into law is a direct attack on the rights, well-being and dignity of hundreds of thousands of LGBT North Carolinians and visitors to the state,” said the HRC.

Software giant IBM today issued a statement warning North Carolina that it will continue to adhere to strict nondiscrimination policies.

Dozens chanted “shut it down” outside McCrory’s mansion at a protest arranged for last night.

Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox also tweeted, saying “I am so disappointed in the governor and legislature of North Carolina. Overturn #HB2,” she tweeted.

Going on, she said: “Stay strong. This law is clearly unconstitutional and will not survive a court challenge. Let’s let this mobilise us.”