California’s Attorney General has banned state-funded travel to Texas and three other states, citing that recent laws passed in those states “are discriminatory toward sexual orientation and gender identification.”
“When California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it,” said Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general.
Texas, along with Kentucky, South Dakota, and Alabama are being punished for “depriving” some individuals of their constitutional rights.
Becerra added Texas to the list after the recent law passed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott allowing child welfare groups to deny services and adoptions based on religious values.
“The signing into law of the Freedom to Serve Children Act (HB 3859) is a major victory for children and for religious liberty in Texas. Faith-based providers across Texas are now free to recruit foster families and place children with loving families,” said Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz in response to the bill Abbott signed on June 15.
Now Becerra is attempting to reprimand Texas following the passing of the bill.
“Each of those states in the recent weeks have enacted legislation that may deprive some of the individuals of those states and individuals who visit those states of their constitutional rights,” said Becerra to reporters. “There are consequences to discrimination. Restricting state-sponsored travel is a consequence.”
Becerra said that California taxpayers shouldn’t fund “travel to states who chose to discriminate.”
However, it seems like it won’t be much of a punishment.
“It’s unclear what practical effect California’s travel ban will have. The state law contains exemptions for some trips, such as travel needed to enforce California law and to honor contracts made before 2017. Travel to conferences or out-of-state trainings are examples of trips that could be blocked. Becerra’s office couldn’t provide information about how often state employees have visited the newly banned states,” writes the Sacramento Bee.
Abbott was quick to respond to California’s attempt to penalize his state.
“California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas,” said Abbott.
The law doesn’t apply to countries with anti-LGBT policies. California’s Governor Jerry Brown visited China, notoriously known for rejecting gay rights, this month to discuss a climate deal.
Dustin Burrows, Texas rep. introduced legislature previously that would protect the state in the event that a state took similar action.
“Today, the California Legislature prohibited the expenditure of its state funds for state employee travel to Texas because of our morals and ethics. Months ago, I offered an amendment to the Texas state budget to counter this type of nonsense — my amendment would have reciprocated if another state did this very thing. Texans are the most inclusive, welcoming people in the world — what Texans will not do is allow another state to determine our policy and culture,” said Burrows in a statement.
Author’s note: Texas is next in California’s mission to sanction other states because they don’t share the super liberal view point. Ironically, California does business with the middle east and other parts of the world that have policies that are much more discriminatory.