By: April Carson
California added five more states to a list of locations where state-funded travel is banned because of anti-LGBTQ legislation, according to the state attorney general Monday.
Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia were among the states added to the list of states according to Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta.
The states were added to the list because they have enacted laws that "authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression," Bonta said in a statement.
"Make no mistake: We're in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country, and California is not going to tolerate it," Bonta said. The travel ban will not apply to law enforcement or other "essential purposes," according to the statement.
This is the second time California has added states to its travel ban.
In 2016, federal lawmakers prohibited non-essential travel to states that discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. The following 12 states were also included on the list: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina Kansas , and Mississippi.
Bonta said the five states recently added to the list have introduced bills in their legislatures this year that bar transgender women and girls from participating in school sports based on their gender identity, block access to health care, and allow for LGBTQ discrimination.
The decision to add Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas was made after consultation with LGBTQ rights organizations, Bonta said.
"These states have gone out of their way to introduce anti-LGBTQ legislation," he said. "We want to send a strong message that California will not use our taxpayer dollars to support states that discriminate against our LGBTQ community."
Four states, Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia, have passed laws prohibiting transgender women and girls from participating in school sports according to their gender identity.
The North Dakota Legislature passed a bill allowing certain publicly funded student groups to ban LGBTQ students from membership without losing funding.
Arkansas was the first state to pass a law prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming treatment to transgender children unless their parents agree — regardless of whether physicians believe such treatment is medically necessary.
"They'd rather demonize trans youth than focus on addressing serious issues like gun violence, fighting this epidemic, and rebuilding the economy," Bonta said.
California will no longer subsidize travel to states with laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Some journeys are exempt from the state ban, such as those required to enforce California law or fulfill pre-addition contracts. Training courses or conferences held outside of the state are examples of trips that may be restricted.
It's impossible to say what impact California's travel restriction will have. Bonta didn't know how many state agencies had stopped sending personnel to the states on the list, or how much money it would cost those states as a result of California's travel ban.
The attorney general's office will review the list of restricted states every three months.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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