Five more states added to California’s ban on state-funded travel over LGBTQ laws

California continues to isolate itself from red states that state lawmakers feel are enacting laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

On Monday, the California Attorney General’s Office announced that five more states that recently passed so-called anti-LGBTQ laws were added to the list of states where state-funding travel was not allowed.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said that state employees were no longer permitted to travel to Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, or West Virginia for taxpayer-funded travel.

“Rather than focusing on solving real issues, some politicians think it’s in their best interest to demonize trans youth and block life-saving care,” Bonta said, referring to Arkansas’ new law.. “Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it.”

These new states were added to the list after North Dakota signed a new law that allows certain publically-funded student unions to ban LGBTQ members, and Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and West Virginia all passed laws prohibiting transgender women and girls from participating in school-sponsored sporting events consistent with their gender identity.

Arkansas also became the first state in the U.S. to pass a law prohibiting physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to minors, regardless of the parent’s wishes.

In 2016, California state legislators passed Assembly Bill 1887 banning state-funding travel to states they deem discriminate against the LGBTQ community after North Carolina’s passage of a law requiring people to use public restrooms based on the sex on their birth certificate.

California legislators apparently believed they were taking the moral high ground when they passed AB 1887, which requires all state agencies to consult the list created by the California Department of Justice before they travel to any of the prohibited states.

Of course, there are some exceptions to AB 1887, such as the enforcement of California laws, any ongoing litigation, contractual obligations incurred before Jan. 1, 2017, training, or for the protection of public health and welfare.

Since the passage of AB 1887 banned travel to North Carolina, California has added 11 states to its travel ban list to include Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Oklahoma, which roughly equates to one-third of the U.S.

Texas, one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S., made California’s list of undesirable destinations in 2017 after the state enacted a law allowing state agencies to prohibit LGBTQ couples from adopting children for religious reasons.

Last year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to block AB 1887, but the high court shot down his request in April.

“Assembly Bill 1887 is about aligning our dollars with our values,” Bonta said.When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action.”

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