California recently added five more states, including Florida, to the list of places where state-funded travel is banned. Those in favor of the provision claim it is because of laws that discriminate against members of the LGBT community.
Democrat Attorney General Rob Bonta added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia to the list, which now has 17 states where state employee travel is forbidden except under limited circumstances.
The travel law is known as Assembly Bill 1887.
“Assembly Bill 1887 is about aligning our dollars with our values,” Bonta said. “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.”
Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia have recently passed laws that prevent men from playing in women’s school sports.
These lawmakers “would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real issues like tackling gun violence beating back this pandemic and rebuilding our economy,” Bonta said.
Lawmakers in 2016 banned “non-essential travel” travel to various states from California for the same reason, citing discrimination against LBGT people. These 12 states were: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee.
In a statement released Tuesday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey blasted Bonta for including West Virginia on the list of states to which travel will be banned.
“States should not penalize other states because of policy differences,” Morrisey said. “The economic coercion demonstrated by California is an affront to the dignity of other co-sovereign states and amounts to legislating across state borders in an effort to force the radical world view of large states onto those living elsewhere.”
Morrisey continued, defending women’s rights as well.
“And in West Virginia our office will defend the state’s efforts to protect the integrity of women’s sports… Title IX opened many opportunities for girls and women across the Mountain State and beyond. This legislation preserves fair competition. It is simply wrong for other states to exert financial pressure in such a manner.”
Bonta did not explain how prohibiting men from playing in women’s sports is conducive to bigotry or discrimination.