California bans state travel to Florida and four other states over LGBTQ+ laws

California added five states, including Florida, to its list of places where state-funded travel is banned because of laws that discriminate against members of the LGBTQ+ community.

California’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, on Monday added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and 西弗吉尼亚 to the list that now has 17 states where state employee travel is forbidden except under limited circumstances.

“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.

Lawmakers in 2016 banned non-essential travel to states with laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. 这 12 other states on the list are: Texas, 阿拉巴马州, Idaho, 爱荷华州, Oklahoma, 南卡罗来纳, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, 堪萨斯州, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The five states newly added to the list have introduced bills in their legislatures this year that prevent transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity, block access to certain types of healthcare and allow the discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community, Bonta said.

佛罗里达, Montana, Arkansas and West Virginia passed laws that prevent transgender girls from participating in school sports that confirm with their gender identity. North Dakota signed into law a bill allowing certain publicly-funded student organizations to restrict LGBTQ+ students from joining without losing funding.

Arkansas passed the first law in the nation to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors, regardless of the wishes of parents or whether a physician deems such care to be medically necessary.

These lawmakers “would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real issues like tackling gun violence beating back this pandemic and rebuilding our economy”, Bonta said.

The California law has exemptions for some trips, such as travel needed to enforce state law and to honor contracts signed before the states were added to the list. Travel to conferences or out-of-state training are examples of trips that can be blocked.

It’s unclear what effect California’s travel ban will have. Bonta did not have information about how many state agencies have stopped sending state employees to the states on the list or the financial impact of California’s travel ban on those states.

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