By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - The mayor of Honolulu is joining a growing list of cities banning taxpayer-funded travel to North Carolina and Mississippi in response to new laws in those states that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Honolulu's announcement coincides with mayors around the nation forming a group called "Mayors Against Discrimination" in the wake of recent laws they call discriminatory. Mayors from New York, Philadelphia, Tampa and cities throughout the West are joining the effort.
Mississippi recently passed a law allowing religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples. The North Carolina law prevents specific anti-discrimination rules for gay and transgender people for public accommodations and restroom use.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the moratorium on non-essential travel by city employees late Thursday.