Amid California AG's travel ban, LGBT advocates and tourism offi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Amid California AG's travel ban, LGBT advocates and tourism officials defend Louisville's equality record

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher is asking California’s attorney general for a reprieve regarding a recent state-funded travel ban.

The letter in response after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra blocked state-funded travel to four states to what he considers anti-LGBT rights enacted this year.

In a letter addressed Sunday, Fischer asked for a reprieve in the travel:

“Please consider exempting cities like Louisville from your travel ban. It is my belief that cities like ours should be rewarded for inclusive behavior, not penalized; a waiver would highlight our inclusivity and encourage other cities to follow accordingly.”

The ban could cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue.

“That is concerning to us,” said Louisville Convention Bureau CEO Karen Williams. “Louisville is a very open community. We’ve always been that way and will continue to be that way.”

LGBT advocates say Louisville is well-known for being extremely supportive of the gay community, with the 11th largest LGBT community in the country.

“Louisville is first amongst its peers in terms of LGBT inclusion," said Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman. "It’s gets a perfect 100 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index."

WDRB News spoke with Democratic Kentucky Sen. Morgan McGarvey, who said the ban “shouldn’t come as a surprise,” while Republican Sen. Rand Paul called the ban a “really, really short-sided response.”

North Carolina’s transgender bathroom bill cost the state to lose several major sporting events and possibly $3 billion in revue, something Louisville benefited from.

“That’s how we got the ACC championships, because of what happened in North Carolina," Williams said. "But through that process, our radar has always been up and aware, so we tout that we are an open community."

In the letter, Fischer also said the global economy demands communities that are welcoming and compassionate and wants to work with Becerra any way he can.

The full text of the letter is provided below:

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Mayor Fischer asks California's AG to exempt Louisville from latest travel ban

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