Jun 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

California bans state-funded travel to 5 states due to anti-LGBTQ laws

Photo of Rob Bonta from the shoulders up as he speaks
Rob Bonta, California's attorney general, announced Monday a ban to prevent state-funded travel to five states with anti-LGBTQ laws. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

California has banned state-funded travel to five more states because of laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ community, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday, bringing the total number of banned states to 17.

Why it matters: The move comes as Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced legislation targeting trans people this year.

State of play: California employees are now unable to pursue state-funded travel to Florida, North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and Arkansas, Bonta said.

  • Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and West Virginia passed laws this year barring trans women and girls from participating in school sports that affirm their gender identity.
  • North Dakota signed into law legislation that would allow some publicly funded student organizations to prohibit LGBTQ students from joining without consequence.
  • Arkansas also passed the first law in the nation to bar physicians from providing gender-affirming health care to trans minors.
  • California's ban does have some exemptions, such as travel related to enforcement of California law or contracts.

What they're saying: "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.

The big picture: Lawmakers first banned non-essential state employee travel to states with anti-LGBTQ laws in 2016, AP reports.

  • The 12 other states on the list are: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Go deeper: Which states have banned trans youth in sports

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