California Bans Travel to GOP States
The state of California will no longer fund trips to Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, or West Virginia based on laws in those states that ‘directly target transgender youth,’ announced California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Monday. The announcement brings the total number of states on California’s travel ban list to 17.
“California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” said Bonta. “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 2016, California lawmakers approved a measure prohibiting taxpayer-funded travel to states with laws discriminatory towards the LGBTQ community. The move was a direct response to a North Carolina law requiring people to use public bathrooms matching the gender listed on their birth certificate.
Texas made the list in 2017 when it passed a law allowing adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples. Arkansas was also added to the list after passing a law prohibiting physicians from offering gender reassignment services to minors.
California’s travel ban includes some exceptions, such as travel necessary to protect public health or to participate in litigation. But it does force college teams to use private funds when traveling to banned states for athletic events.
Athletics has become a major issue for transgender youth. In fact, the state of Florida was added to the travel ban list based on a law prohibiting transgender girls from participating in boys’ sports.
“Congratulations to California for somehow managing to create a new way to politicize its bureaucracy,” said Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). “The bill Governor DeSantis signed is not discriminatory; in fact, it’s the opposite – the legislation ensures that women’s sports remain fair…On the contrary, allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports is discriminatory, because it puts girls and women at a disadvantage based on immutable, innate characteristics.”
Author’s Note: This may be California’s stupidest decision ever. Laws in other states are not California’s business and this “travel ban” is likely violating interstate commerce laws. Aside from that, the laws with which California takes issue are commonsense; they are not “anti” anything.