Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has banned non-essential travel for state workers to Mississippi over passage of a law he's criticized as discriminatory.

The law, signed Tuesday by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, allows religious organizations and businesses related to the wedding industry to deny service to gay and transgender people.

Dayton has also banned state travel to North Carolina after the state's Republican governor signed a law that blocks cities from enacting ordinances that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and bars students attending public institutions from using the bathroom that does not conform to their gender at birth.

Dayton, a Democrat, called Mississippi's law “a step backward.”

“I mean, the one in Mississippi is so egregious,” Dayton is quoted as saying by Fox 9. “I mean, open the door. I respect anyone's religious beliefs, that’s a First Amendment right. But to say anybody can say this is my belief and I don’t have to follow laws of equal rights, equal guarantees, equal services to people, based on their sexual orientation, is a fundamental violation of their constitutional guarantees which have been established by federal law, longstanding. The fact that they’re changing this...it’s just a step backward for this country.”

“This act of discrimination is discriminatory against many Mississippi residents, and violates their Constitutional rights. We cannot allow this injustice to go unanswered. When the rights of some Americans are threatened, it is the responsibility of all Americans to stand in opposition to those discriminatory acts. Minnesota has made great progress to protect the rights and dignity of all people in our state. Now, we will do what we can as Minnesotans, to support and defend the rights of others.”