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San Francisco has voted to repeal a ban on city-funded travel to 30 states that it says restricts abortion, voting and LGBTQ+ rights after determining that the boycott is doing more harm than good.

The policy which was initially put in place in 2016, after the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage nationwide, and was designed to exert economic pressure on conservative states.

At first, the boycott applied only to states that it considered restricted the rights of LGBTQ+ people; before the list was expanded to include states that limited access to voting and abortion.

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However, a report released last month by the 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 ending the boycott might reduce contracting costs by 20% annually, the report concluded.

In addition, the city had approved hundreds of exemptions and waivers for some $800 million worth of contracts, the report said.

“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,” Board President Aaron Peskin, who co-sponsored the repeal, stated before adding that while the measure “was a well-intentioned effort at values-based contracting but ultimately did not accomplish the social change it sought to effect.”

California is also considering repealing a similar law, which bans state-funded travel to nearly half of the country following a surge of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in primarily Republican-led states.

The prohibition, which has resulted in sports teams at public colleges and universities having to find other ways to pay for road games in states like Arizona and Utah, has also complicated some of the state’s other policy goals, like using state money to pay for people who live in other states to travel to California for abortions.

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