PORTLAND — Portland is banning all non-essential travel of city employees to states that enact legislation that discriminates against the gay and transsexual communities.

The Portland City Council made Portland the first city in the state to take such a step on Monday night. City leaders say they were prompted by legislation in Mississippi and North Carolina.

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling tells WMTW-TV the decision is meant to send a message to those states that “if something came up, we won’t go.” He says it is also a show of support for Portland’s gay and transsexual communities.

The ban means city employees won’t be allowed to do things such as use city money to go to a conference in the states. At least 20 cities have passed similar measures.

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