California has banned state-funded travel to Florida and four other states because of laws that they feel discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
On Monday, California’s Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia to the list of seventeen states to the list of states where state employee travel is forbidden except under limited circumstances. This list is now at seventeen.
“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,” Bonta said, according to WFLA.
California lawmakers first started banning non-essential travel to states with laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people back in 2016. The other states that are on the list are: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee.
Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia made the list after passing laws that stop transgender women and girls from participating in school sports with biological women and girls. Meanwhile, North Dakota passed a law that allows certain publicly-funded student organizations to restrict LGBTQ students from joining without losing funding.
Arkansas also recently became the first state in the country to pass a law prohibiting physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors, regardless of parental wishes or if a physician decides such care to be medically necessary.
Bonta went on to say that lawmakers in these states “would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real issues like tackling gun violence beating back this pandemic and rebuilding our economy.”
It is unclear what effect, if any, that Bonta’s ban will have, as he did not provide any information on how many state agencies have stopped sending employees to these states in the wake of the bans. He also didn’t provide any information about the impact, if any, that these bans had on these states financially.
There are certain exemptions from these bans for some trips, including once that are necessary to enforce California law and to honor contracts signed before the states were added to the list.