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Baltimore mayor bans travel to North Carolina, Mississippi

FILE - In this May 1, 2015, file photo, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake prepares to speak at a media availability at City Hall in Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake said Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, she will not seek re-election nearly five months after the city...
FILE - In this May 1, 2015, file photo, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake prepares to speak at a media availability at City Hall in Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake said Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, she will not seek re-election nearly five months after the city... (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

BALTIMORE (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.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)