SAN FRANCISCO — (04-28-23) — San Francisco is repealing a ban on city-funded travel to 30 states that are known to have anti-LGBT laws in place. Critics say that by lifting the ban on states that have restrictions on abortion, Laws that are against LGBTQ rights are going to do more harm than good.

The Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 on Tuesday to repeal a section of the city’s administrative code that prohibits staff from visiting those states and city departments from contracting with companies based in anti-LGBTQ states that include Florida, Ohio and Texas.

San Francisco government officials aren’t the only ones planning on repealing their boycott. California’ state assembly is considering the repeal of a similar law they have in place.

City supervisors will hold a second and final vote next Tuesday. Mayor London Breed is expected to sign the measure.

San Francisco passed the boycott in 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. At first, the boycott applied only to states that it considered restricted the rights of LGBTQ people but then was expanded to include states that limit access to voting and abortion.

The original idea for the boycott was to exert economic pressure on those right wing conservative states. Instead, a report released last month by San Francisco’ city administrator concluded that the policy was raising costs and administrative burdens for the city.

Because of restrictions, there were fewer bidders for city work and that ending the boycott might reduce contracting costs by 20% annually, the report concluded.

In addition, San Francisco officials had approved hundreds of exemptions and waivers in the amount of $800 million worth of contracts, the report said.

Another thing the report noted was that “no states with restrictive LGBTQ rights, voting rights, or abortion policies have cited the city’s travel and contract bans as motivation for reforming their law,” the review concluded.

The measure “was a well-intentioned effort at values-based contracting but ultimately did not accomplish the social change it sought to effect,” said San Francisco Board President Aaron Peskin, who co-sponsored the repeal. “Instead, this onerous restriction has led to an uncompetitive bidding climate and created serious obstructions to everything from accessing emergency housing to being able to cost-effectively purchase the best products and contracts for the City.” said Peskin.

Scott Wiener, a former supervisor-turned-state senator who authored the original ban, agreed that the measure hadn’t produced the intended results.

“We believed a coalition of cities and states would form to create true consequences for states that pass these despicable, hateful laws,” said Wiener. “Yet, as it turned out, that coalition never formed, and the full potential impact of this policy never materialized. Instead, San Francisco is now penalizing businesses in other states — including LGBTQ-owned, women-owned, and people of color-owned businesses — for the sins of their radical right wing governments.” said Weiner.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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