Delaware not ordering travel ban to N.C. or Miss.

DOVER — Delaware is not among the states banning travel to Mississippi and North Carolina in the wake of those states passing laws that proponents say protect religious freedom and critics claim would legalize discrimination against gay and transgender people.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a law last month that requires transgenders to use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates.

Earlier this week, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law that lets religious groups and private businesses refuse

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Gov. Jack Markell

service to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs.

Democratic governors in Vermont, New York and Washington have banned non-essential state travel to Mississippi and North Carolina since the laws were passed. Some cities have done the same.

A spokesman for Gov. Jack Markell said there is no Delaware ban on state travel, “of which there is probably little.”

“One of Gov. Markell’s highest priorities since taking office has been ensuring that everyone in our state has a fair chance to build a better life,” Jonathon Dworkin said in a statement.

“He is very proud of the fact that he signed legislation prohibiting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Delawareans and making our state a more welcoming and accepting place to raise a family and start a business.

“That is not the path that North Carolina and Mississippi have taken, but the governor knows that creating a safe and welcoming state is the right thing to do and affirms that the words ‘We the People’ means all of us, regardless of who we love or the gender with which we identify.”

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon banned county travel to Indiana in April 2015 after the Hoosier State passed legislation expanding religious safeguards and minimizing protections for gays.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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