NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is one of several mayors from around the country who have forming the new group “Mayors Against Discrimination.”
The group was formed in the wake of recent North Carolina and Mississippi laws they say are discriminatory.
“Some are trying to turn back the clock to a deeply flawed time in our history,” Mayor de Blasio said in a news release. “We’ll keep doing everything we can to stand with the LGBT community, speaking out against discrimination and moving forward policies and laws like we have in New York City that allow LGBT individuals to live with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
In addition to Mayor de Blasio, the coalition includes San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
It plans to explore prohibitions on contracting and purchasing from companies in those states in response to the new laws, which critics say discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant recently signed a bill allowing religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples.
The Mississippi law’s stated intention is to protect those who believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, that sexual relations should only take place inside such marriages, and that male and female genders are unchangeable.
The law also requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex.
The North Carolina law also bars local governments statewide from prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A new statewide nondiscrimination law doesn’t contain those specific protections.
Supporters of the Mississippi law say it is about protecting freedom of those who, for example, don’t want to perform same-sex weddings for religious reasons.
Religious leaders and others have defended the North Carolina law, saying it protects women and children from men who use the law as a pretense to enter the wrong restroom.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)