California Announces Ban on State Travel to Five More States Over Anti-LGBTQ Laws

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) announced that California has added five more states, including Florida, to the list of places where state-funded travel is banned because of laws that discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.

“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,” Bonta said, announcing a ban on state-funded travel to Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.

These five states join 12 others on the list: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee.

Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia recently approved legislation that bans transgender athletes from competing in female sports in middle and high schools and colleges. North Dakota, meanwhile, signed into law a bill that allows student groups at high schools, colleges, and universities to discriminate against LGBTQ students. 

Announcing the new bans, Bonta said lawmakers in these states “would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real issues like tackling gun violence beating back this pandemic and rebuilding our economy.”

In 2016, California banned most taxpayer-funded travel to states deemed to have passed laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) noted that 2021 has been a busy year––”the worst year in recent history”–– for anti-LGBTQ legislation.

“The wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation — a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local lawmakers – is part of a broader strategy to score political points with the conservative base by curtailing the rights of LGBTQ people and specifically trans youth — under the guise of responding to nonexistent and baseless threats. These bills represent a cruel effort to further stigmatize and discriminate against LGBTQ people across the country, specifically trans youth who simply want to live as their true selves and grow into who they are,” the organization, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy groups, noted in a press release.