SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California will restrict state-funded travel to Florida, Montana, West Virginia, Arkansas, and North Dakota over anti-LGBTQ legislation recently enacted in those states, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday.
The five states join twelve others on already on California’s travel restrictions list: Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
Bonta said legislation in those states directly work to ban transgender youth from playing sports, block access to life-saving care, or otherwise limit the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community. The attorney general made the announcement Monday at San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society Museum on the 52nd anniversary of the beginning of the Stonewall Riots which transformed the movement for LGBTQ rights.
In 2016, California enacted Assembly Bill 1887 into law, which compels the state to take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. The law restricts a state agency, department, board, or commission from authorizing state-funded travel to state’s on the restricted list.
“When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action. These new additions to the state-funded travel restrictions list are about exactly that,” said Bonta in a prepared statement. “It’s been 52 years to the day since the Stonewall Riots began, but that same fight remains all too alive and well in this country. 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. 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.”
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against California’s travel ban to state’s with discriminatory laws. Texas landed on the list in 2017 because it approved a law allowing foster care agencies to use religious reasons to deny same-sex couples the right to foster children,
Paxton unsuccessfully argued California’s law was unconstitutional and a misguided attempt to police other states.