California has added four more states to its list of states it considers “anti-LGBT” and off limits to government travel, Fox News reports.
The state’s attorney general says California will no longer fund travel to Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky because of legislation in those jurisdictions that California considers politically unacceptable for the promotion of LBGT rights.
Xavier Becerra added the four states to a list that already includes North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. He proclaimed that state funds “will not be used to let people travel to states who chose to discriminate.”
The actual consequences of the travel ban, beyond a political statement, are uncertain. The law allows for various exemptions, including travel that is related to law enforcement or contracts approved before 2017. The legislation will prohibit travel to conferences or training seminars but the attorney general’s office was not forthcoming with any information on how frequently California state employees have needed to travel to any of the proscribed states.
Texas made the enemies list because it recently passed a law that makes “sincerely held religious beliefs” a basis upon which child welfare groups can deny services or adoptions to applicants, something that Bacerra insists will target LGBT couples. Similar laws exist in Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott was non-plussed over California’s travel ban, relaying though his spokesman John Wittman, “California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas.”
The law will be tested this fall when state-funded California university Fresno State is supposed to face-off agains the University of Alabama in a college football game. A query has already been filed with Bacerra’s office as to whether college sports are exempt from the travel ban but the attorney general’s office hasn’t come to a decision.