The Montanans with the nation’s highest number of active LGBT travelers in 2016 are canceling their trips to Colorado Springs and Denver.
Montana Tourism and Industries Association said it was closing its Colorado Springs branch on Sunday after a complaint by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD.
GLAAM sued the state agency over its treatment of LGBT travelers.
GLFAD filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission last month alleging that Montana’s Tourism Department failed to properly handle the requests of travelers who have come out as gay or transgender.
“We do not believe that any of the travel industry’s policies have been adequate,” Montana Tourism and Industry Association CEO Scott Bixler told The Associated Press.
“They were very clear that they did not accept our guests’ personal or sexual orientation or gender identity.”
GLAED’s complaint alleges that Montana officials have failed to protect the LGBT community.
“LGBT people are routinely subjected to discrimination in every aspect of their lives and in many instances, have been targeted and discriminated against by law enforcement officials,” the group said.
Bixler said the state tourism agency’s policy on travel was “based on an outdated, discredited, and antiquated understanding of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity that is not based on the scientific data.”
The complaint says the agency has been slow to update its policy on LGBT travel and that it has failed to address concerns that it had not adequately vetted travel by LGBT travelers coming out as transgender.
The Montana Tourism & Industry Association has about 1,200 employees, including staff at hotels and motels.
Bixlers office said he believes the group has the authority to decide what to do with its members and does not believe the agency is in violation of any state or federal law.
Montanas tourism and tourism-related industries generate about $2.7 billion in annual revenue and employ more than 30,000 people.
The Tourism Department does not track travel by visitors by gender, race, religion or sexual preference.