Friday, June 23, 2017

California bans travel to other states over anti-LGBT laws

AUSTIN — California is now prohibiting any state-funded or state-sponsored travel to Texas, citing a new law that gives legal cover to religious adoption agencies that turn away prospective parents because they're gay.



California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Thursday. "While the California [Department of Justice] works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back.

Bacerra added Texas to the list because of a law signed recently by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that allows child welfare groups to deny services and adoptions to families because of “Sincerely held religious beliefs,” the Sacramento Bee reported. The AG’s office said he believes that allows these groups to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual people, trans, and othre lgbt family.

“There are consequences to discrimination,” Becerra stated. “Restricting state-sponsored travel is a consequence.”

It's unclear what practical effect California's travel ban will have. The state law contains exemptions for some trips, such as travel needed to enforce California law and to honor contracts made before 2017. Travel to conferences or out-of-state trainings are examples of trips that could be blocked. Becerra's office couldn't provide information about how often state employees have visited the newly banned states.




Texas was added to the list because of a law that lets child welfare organizations deny services and adoptions to families because of "sincerely held religious beliefs" that Becerra's office says would allow LGBT discrimination. Similar laws were enacted in Alabama and South Dakota. Kentucky's new law could allow LGBT discrimination in schools, according to Becerra's office.

Burrows reacted to the action by the California AG with a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. His response states:

Today, the California Legislature prohibited the expenditure of its state funds for state employee travel to Texas because of our morals and ethics. Months ago, I offered an amendment to the Texas state budget to counter this type of nonsense — my amendment would have reciprocated if another state did this very thing. Texans are the most inclusive, welcoming people in the world — what Texans will not do is allow another state to determine our policy and culture.

Fresno State, a public California university, is scheduled to play football against the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa this fall. A request for a legal opinion on whether public university sports' travel is exempt from the ban has been filed with Becerra's office, but no ruling has been issued.