The hypocrisy never ceases. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales recently banned city employees from traveling to what he deems "anti-LGBT" States but has just announced that he will travel to anti-LGBT Qatar. KOB reports:
Qatar is known for its anti-LGBT laws, and Gonzales' trip was announced just days after the mayor reaffirmed Santa Fe's ban on city employee travel to states that have passed what advocates say are discrimination laws against the LGBT community.
The openly-gay mayor was selected to go to Qatar by the US Conference of Mayors, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Qatar will pay for the trip.
According to a city statement, the mayor decided to take the trip "after receiving assurances from the US Conference of Mayors that he will have the opportunity to raise human rights issues in the meetings."
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Santa Fe joined a list of other cities that have banned "nonessential travel by employees to North Carolina and Mississippi," over the states' so-called "bathroom law."
Seven major cities have travel bans in effect for the two states, USA Todayreported. The cities include Seattle, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco. States that have prohibited employee travel to both Mississippi and North Carolina include Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington.
Gonzales said attendance at conferences by Santa Fe municipal employees is considered nonessential travel. Essential travel includes mandatory training for police officers and firefighters or pursuit of a fugitive from the law, he said.
It will be worthwhile to see if Gonzales' trip to Qatar -- where members of the LGBT community and other minorities suffer true, horrific persecution -- will provide him with much needed perspective on this issue.