As a concept, the United States is a Romantic ideal: a welcoming haven for anyone with a dream and the passion to see it realized. It was supposed to be a place where communities (called States) could convene of their own wishes and govern themselves under a somewhat flexible set of statutes in order to appease varying degrees of social institutions. We understand how this works today, of course, as each of the 50 states sets its own laws. More recently, tobacco and gay marriage legislation are two topics that have demonstrated the intricacies of the United States government.
On the topic of gay marriage, however, legislation has been divisive. Some states, of course have recognized that it should be legal and now allow for same-sex couples to register, in their respective states, as married couples. Recognizing same-sex couples as legally married allows them to enjoy the same social (and financial) benefits that traditional married couples enjoy.
Similarly, though, great discussion has erupted in regards to transgender individuals. In some states, people appear to be perfectly fine with it while in others, the opposite is true. And this has shaken a rift into this great country.
In North Carolina, for example, a new law prevents the local government from protecting people based on sexual orientation or gender identity in terms of the use of public accommodations, like hotels.
In light of this, however, Washington state governor Jay Inslee issued a memo to state agencies, today, which prohibits any non-essential state-funded travel to North Carolina as a statement that he does not agree with this new legislation.
In the memo, Inslee said, “Our nation is rightfully moving toward increased acceptance and celebration of diversity. The discriminatory policies being promoted by North Carolina is not something our state condones or supports.”
Furthermore, on Tuesday, in Olympia, Inslee commented how he appreciates the diligent work of the Washington State Human Rights Commission on very recently adopted new rules which affirm the inalienable rights of transgender men and women to use such public facilities which are consistent with their gender identity.
He adds, “Washington is a state where everyone should feel free to be who they are without fear of discrimination, intimidation or harassment. It’s important that our state laws, policies and practices reflect the values and realities of the people we serve.”