California’s Dems have now restricted state-funded travel to so many red states in protest against those states’ legislation about social issues that the restrictions now cover one-third of the country by population, after a new block on Ohio was put forward last month.
The Sacramento Bee said on Monday:
“California Dems wanted to make a statement when they enacted a law five years ago stopping taxpayer-funded travel to some states that allow companies to deny services to transgender and gay people.”
“California leaders took a stand, but they did not discourage GOP states from accepting those so-called religious freedom bills.”
“Since this, California has restricted state-funded travel to 18 U.S. states, with an overall population of 117 million people. That is a little over one third of the country’s total population.”
The latest block came in Sept., when AG Rob Bonta announced the ban on Ohio over a new law that allows doctors to cite their religious or moral beliefs in denying medical care to a patient.
The Bee highlights that it is impossible to go cross-country without going through at least one state to which California has banned state-funded travel. Moreover, “California blocks state-funded travel to 18 of the 25 states where Trump won the state in 2020 – and none of the states that supported Biden.” The law has lots of exceptions: public college sports teams, as one example.
California enacted a law back in 2016 allowing the state’s AG to ban official travel to any state deemed to have broken the rights of LGBTQ people. The law was a response to the controversy in 2015, when large companies said they would boycott the state of Indiana over their Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
(That law worked to protect business owners from getting sued by LGBTQ activists for denying services on religious grounds — an aggressive practice that led to Supreme Court cases. Indiana later changed the law after then-Governor Mike Pence asked legislators to change it.)
While California allows travel to the state of Indiana, the Bee stresses that North Carolina is still on California’s restricted list, even though it repealed a 2016 law needing people to use public bathrooms that match their biological sex, rather than any imaginary gender they might think they have.
Author: Blake Ambrose