Salt Lake City Mayor, City Council Prohibit City-Funded Travel To Mississippi, North Carolina

Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Photo: Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 12, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the Salt Lake City Council are taking action against recently passed anti-LGBT legislation in North Carolina and Mississippi.

On Tuesday, Biskupski and the Council issued a joint statement “prohibiting city-funded or sponsored travel” to either state as a means of “fighting a recent wave of discriminatory laws being enacted or considered against LGBT individuals.”

The executive memorandum also states that Salt Lake City will join mayors in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Oakland, Portland, Santa Fe and Honolulu in “fighting discriminatory laws being enacted or considered against LGBT individuals.”

The travel prohibition begins immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. The only exceptions will be those “necessary for the enforcement of Salt Lake City law, to meet prior contractual obligations, or for the protection of public health, safety, and welfare.”

The open letter, penned by the mayor and city council, also invites businesses concerned about anti-LGBT legislation passed in Mississippi (HB1523) and North Carolina (HB2) to move to Salt Lake City.

“Salt Lake City embraces diversity and we recognize our success as a community depends on inclusion and protection for everyone,” Biskupski said. “Our nation and our local community have come too far to allow our progress to be undermined by desperate laws that seem designed only to limit opportunity and access for certain individuals.”

The mayor’s sentiments were echoed by Salt Lake City Council chairman James Rogers.

“Fairness and equality are more than political footballs to be tossed around when politicians put politics over their humanity,” Rogers said. “We as a city and a council have taken actions over the years to make the capital city a welcoming beacon for all.”

The Salt Lake City letter will be published online and sent to targeted businesses and corporations in Mississippi and North Carolina.

Mayor Biskupski’s entire executive memo is as follows: 


We understand many of you are rightfully concerned about the recent passage of HB2 in North Carolina and HB1523 in Mississippi, bills that undermine the progress we have made as a country toward equality for LGBTQ people. Over the last year, business has played a large role in keeping reactionary bills like HB2 and HB1523 at bay in other states. Unfortunately, this time, the North Carolina General Assembly and the Mississippi Legislature chose politics over the best interests of the people and businesses they serve.

In Salt Lake City we are no strangers to robust public discussions about equality, discrimination, access, and accommodation. We know by taking these issues seriously, we make our city a great place to live and do business. In 2009, Salt Lake City adopted an ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing and employment. In 2015, the State of Utah followed suit by adopting a similar measure. Both of these statutes were supported by religious groups across the state, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, proving to the nation that equality for LGBTQ people and religious liberty are not mutually exclusive principles.

In Salt Lake City, economic strength is intrinsically tied to treating all people with dignity and respect. Like you, we recognize that our economic success depends on inclusion and protection for everyone. So, in light of North Carolina and Mississippi’s recent actions, we’d like to invite you to consider doing business in our beautiful and welcoming city. 

Salt Lake City has one of the strongest economies in the country.With several institutes of higher education, our city’s workforce is well educated, and our business community is supported by cutting-edge research and innovation. Health care, housing, and energy costs are some of the lowest in the nation. State and local regulations and taxes are business-friendly, and this year, both branches of Salt Lake City government have made economic development a top priority. 

We are a diverse city, with a culture of community service and passion for the arts, and of course, our access to the outdoors is unrivaled.Skiers and snow boarders can enjoy the “greatest snow on Earth” at six world-class resorts less than 45-minutes from downtown. Our red-rock desert playgrounds include five of the most scenic National Parks less than a 4-hour drive—providing an easy weekend escape.

Please consider joining businesses like Goldman Sachs,, Cicero Group, Myriad Genetics, Google Fiber, and others who have already made Salt Lake City home. We would welcome an opportunity to help you bring your business here. In Salt Lake City, we welcome the world. If you have more questions about Salt Lake City and how you can do business here, please send us an email at[email protected].

With regards,

Jackie Biskupski

Stan Penfold
Salt Lake City Council Co-Chair

James Rogers
Salt Lake City Council Chair

Andrew Johnston
Salt Lake City Council

Lisa Adams
Salt Lake City Council

Charlie Luke
Salt Lake City Council

Derek Kitchen
Salt Lake City Council

Erin Mendenhall
Salt Lake City Council


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