Controversies

Baltimore mayor bans travel to North Carolina, Mississippi

Wednesday, April 27, 2016: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, left, listens to Sen. Catherine Pugh, D-Baltimore, during a "Day of Reconciliation" event in Baltimore, the first anniversary of rioting following the funeral of Freddie Gray.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, left, listens to Sen. Catherine Pugh, D-Baltimore, during a "Day of Reconciliation" event in Baltimore, the first anniversary of rioting following the funeral of Freddie Gray.  (AP)

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has suspended all city-sponsored travel to North Carolina and Mississippi due to the states' new transgender laws.

Rawlings-Blake made the announcement Tuesday in a letter to city officials, saying she hopes the city's efforts combined with those of other governments and companies "will push North Carolina and Mississippi" to change.

The letter says cabinet members shouldn't make travel requests to the two states "until the situation changes."

The new law in North Carolina directs government agencies and publicly funded schools to designate bathrooms for people based on their genders at birth.

Mississippi passed a law, effective July 1, allowing workers to cite their own religious beliefs as a reason to deny service.

Rawlings-Blake says she won't authorize trips to the states while the laws exist.