The California attorney general announced Monday the addition of five more states to the list of places where state-funded travel is banned because of laws that he claimed discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.
Democrat Attorney General Rob Bonta added to a list which now includes 17 states where state employee travel is prohibited. The 12 other states on the list which California had already targeted with laws in 2016 and 2017 are: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and South Dakota.
Bonta said, "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."
California legislators banned non-essential travel in 2016 to states with laws that they claimed discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and people who identify as transgender.
Bonta said that Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia were added to the list because the states have introduced bills in their legislatures to prohibit biological males who identify as transgender from participating in women's sports.
Arkansas also passed the first law in the US to prohibit gender altering surgeries to minors.
However, the law contained exemptions for travel needed to enforce California law and to honor contracts grandfathered in before the states were added to the list. Travel to conferences and out-of-state training are prohibited by the law.
In June 2017, then-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, banned state-funded travel to Texas, saying that Texas House Bill 3859 allowed "foster care agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify LGBT families from the state’s foster and adoption system."
It is unclear what effect the bans will have as Evan Low, a California lawmaker said in 2017 that barring state-funded travel to Texas was largely symbolic.
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