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West Palm mayor enacts travel ban to Mississippi

Posted: 10:24 AM, Apr 07, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-07 14:24:37Z

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio has placed a travel ban on city-funded trips to Mississippi.

The decision was made in the wake of Mississippi's new law allowing government employees, religious groups and some private businesses to cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

Mayor Muoio is the first mayor in Florida and the second in the nation to enact such a travel ban to Mississippi. 

Some Mississippians say the law is needed protection for Christians who adhere to traditional views of marriage and gender roles.

But others say Gov. Phil Bryant's decision Tuesday to sign the bill amounts to discrimination, even if they find same-sex marriage morally offensive.

Executives of several companies are calling on the governor and Republican legislative leaders to repeal the law.

However, the leader of a national conservative group is praising Gov. Bryant for "extraordinary courage" in signing the  law.

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, a former Republican U.S. senator from South Carolina, hailed his fellow Republican on Wednesday, writing that "to protect religious liberty in his state, he stood up against corporate bullies and leftist pressure groups."

DeMint says the law that Bryant signed Tuesday will prevent state and local governments from punishing businesses that don't want to actively participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The Heritage Foundation leader says it's wrong to view the bill as "anti-gay" or "discriminatory" and is urging other states to follow Mississippi's example.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.