California expands its travel ban to four more states

California expands its travel ban to four more states

California’s state employees and representatives cannot travel to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas under an expansion of a state law that prohibits state workers from traveling to states that discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexual or transgender people.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the expansion Thursday, and California’s travel ban now reaches eight states. With the passage of Assembly Bill 1887, which went into to law on Jan. 1, 2017, the state barred its employees from traveling to North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas and Mississippi.

“Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century, ” Becerra said.  “I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states. While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

AB 1887  prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or against same-sex couples or their families. The California legislation went into effect on January 1, 2017. This restriction applies to state agencies, departments, boards, authorities, and commissions, including an agency, department, board, authority, or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California, and the California State University.

There are exceptions to the law, including law enforcement work and contracted work or services before the Jan. 1 prohibition.

In a news release, the Attorney General’s office cited the following reasons why the four states were added to the list:

  • Alabama: HB 24 was enacted on May 2, 2017. HB 24 could prevent qualified prospective LGBT parents from adopting or serving as foster parents.
  • Kentucky: SB 17 was enacted on March 16, 2017. SB 17 could allow student-run organizations in colleges and K-12 schools to discriminate against classmates based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • South Dakota: SB 149 was enacted March 10, 2017. SB 149 could prevent qualified LGBT couples from adopting or serving as foster parents.
  • Texas: HB 3859 was enacted on June 15, 2017. HB 3859, allows foster care agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify LGBT families from the state’s foster and adoption system.

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