Portland, Maine is the latest municipality to bar city workers from traveling to Mississippi and North Carolina in response to recently enacted laws in those states that target the LGBT community.

The Portland City Council on Monday unanimously approved the travel ban, making Portland the first city in Maine to take such an action. At least 20 other cities and five states have taken similar steps.

North Carolina's law, House Bill 2, prohibits cities from approving LGBT protections and bars students attending public institutions and state workers from using the bathroom that does not conform to their gender at birth.

Mississippi's law, House Bill 1523, allows businesses to deny services to LGBT people based on their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling said the travel restriction is about sending a message to those states.

“This is both practical, but it's also a statement,” Strimling said. “It's also to let them know that if something came up, we won't go. Regardless, if there's anything in the pipeline right now for us, protecting the LGBTQ community is an important value in Portland.”

The ban is limited to non-essential travel to those states.