San Francisco bans travel to South Dakota citing “anti-LGBT” law

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - When you think about San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge probably comes to mind.
When people in San Francisco think about South Dakota, good thoughts aren't coming to mind.
The liberal leaning city has banned city dollars from being used for travel to the Mount Rushmore state after Governor Daugaard signed a bill granting protections to religious adoption agencies into law.

A spokesperson for the city says it's a stance against discrimination.

"In October of 2016 the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance which placed a ban on city funded travel and contracting with states which have passed anti LGBT laws," San Francisco administration office spokesperson Jack Gallagher said.

ACLU South Dakota policy director Libby Skarin says a move like this isn't unheard of.

“I don't think it's surprising that a city would decide not to use its tax payer funds to fund travel that goes to a state where there may be discriminatory laws in place,” Skarin said.

Skarin spoke against the bill that created new protections for faith based adoption agencies during the legislative session.
The bill sponsor says it protects religious rights.
She doesn’t see it that way.

“When we're talking about religious freedom, though everyone has the right to believe what they want and to practice their faith as they see fit, they don't have the right to harm others and that's what this bill does. It crosses over that line and takes religion and hurts other people using it,” she explained.

As for how San Francisco’s move could affect tourism, it's still a question mark.

“We really don't know how much of an effect it's going to have,” Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Teri Schmidt said.

More than 216,000 people visited Sioux Falls alone last year.
California ranked in the top ten for states visiting Falls Park.

“We certainly have Californians visit Sioux Falls. They sign in the guest book at Falls Park, they attend conventions, meetings and events,” Schmidt stated.

But it's hard to tell if any of those people were employees of the city of San Francisco.

“If they do come they don’t register as employee from the State of California or City of San Francisco.

San Francisco has also banned travel to Tennessee, North Carolina, Kansas and Mississippi.



 
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