Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia to the list
California has added five more states, including Florida, to its list of places where state-funded travel is prohibited due to laws that discriminate against members of the LGBTQ + community. Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia to the list which now includes 17 states where travel by state employees is prohibited except in limited circumstances. “Make no mistake: We are in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country and the State of California will not support it,” Bonta said.
Lawmakers in 2016 banned non-essential travel in states with laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The other 12 states on the list are: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee. The five states just added to the list presented bills this year that prevent transgender women and girls from participating in school sports that align with their gender identity, block access to health care, and allow discrimination of the LGBTQ community. Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia have passed laws preventing transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. North Dakota has signed a bill that allows some publicly funded student organizations to restrict LGBTQ student membership without losing funds.
Arkansas passed the first law to prohibit doctors from providing health care to transgender minors, regardless of the wishes of their parents or whether a doctor deems such care to be medically necessary. These lawmakers “would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real problems such as addressing gun violence to fend off this pandemic and rebuild our economy,” Bonta said. State law provides exemptions for some travel, such as travel required to enforce California law and to honor contracts signed before states were added to the list. Trips to conferences or out-of-state training are examples of trips that can be blocked. It is unclear what effect the California travel ban will have. Bonta had no information on how many state agencies have stopped sending state employees to the states on the list or the financial impact of California’s travel ban in those countries.