San Francisco Repeals Major Boycott

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

San Francisco could drop a policy that prohibited city-funded travel to and contracting from states that passed restrictive LGBTQ, abortion, and voting laws as the city’s costs soar.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors initially passed the ordinance, Chapter 12X, in 2016 during the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case.

The ordinance included states that passed prohibitive LGBTQ laws and was considered a boycott to pressure such states to reconsider their laws and prevent the city from doing business with states whose views were antithetical to its own.

The ordinance was extended in 2019 and again in 2021, adding more states who had passed restrictive abortion and voting rights laws.

San Francisco’s City Administrator, Carmen Chu’s, office released a report on February 10, noting that since the start of the ordinance, the list of banned states has expanded from 8 to 30, suggesting threats of a boycott were ineffective at deterring restrictive policies.

The report also details that the city’s contracting costs have increased under the contracting ban by about 10 to 20 percent and could climb should more states be added to the list.

To combat the adverse effect the ordinance is having on the city’s budget, the report proposes five alternatives, including repealing the ordinance in its entirety or only repealing the contracting ban while keeping the travel ban in place.

Following the report, at a committee hearing on February 13, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí introduced legislation to exempt construction contracts from the ordinance.

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, fellow supervisor Rafael Mandelman was considering introducing legislation to repeal the entire ordinance.