(AP) — California
added five more states
, including Florida
, to the list of places where state-funded travel
is prohibited due to laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people
, the state attorney general announced Monday.
Attorney General Rob Bonta
added Florida, Arkansas
, North Dakota
, and West Virginia
to the list of states where state employee travel is prohibited except in limited circumstances, bringing the total to 17 states.
“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 tolerate it,” Bonta stated.
, South Carolina
, South Dakota, Kentucky
, North Carolina
, Kansas, Mississippi
, and Tennessee
are among the 12 states that have banned non-essential travel to states that have laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
According to Bonta, the five
new states on the list have introduced bills in their legislatures this year that prohibit transgender women
and girls from participating in school sports
consistent with their gender identity
, restrict access to health care
, and allow discrimination against the LGBTQ community
Transgender women and girls are barred from participating in school sports that correspond to their gender identity in Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia.
North Dakota enacted legislation that allows publicly-funded student organizations to exclude LGBTQ students from membership without losing funding.
Arkansas became the first state in the country to pass legislation prohibiting physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors, regardless of parental wishes or whether such care is deemed medically necessary.
These lawmakers, according to Bonta, "would rather demonize trans youth
than focus on real issues like tackling gun violence
, beating back the pandemic
, and rebuilding our economy
Some trips are exempt from the state law, such as those required to enforce California law or to honor contracts signed before the states were added to the list. Travel to conferences or out-of-state training are other examples of trips that can be blocked.
It is unclear what impact
California's travel ban will have; Bonta did not know 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.