California bans state travel to Florida over transgender sports ban
California banned state-funded travel to Florida after Governor Ron DeSantis signed various laws deemed to be discriminatory by the state’s Attorney General.
“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,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said.
“When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, we take action,” Bonta added on Twitter.
Bonta also added Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia to the list that now has 17 states where state employee travel is forbidden except under limited circumstances.
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California lawmakers in 2016 banned non-essential travel to states with laws that they deemed to be discriminatory against members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The other 12 states on the list are Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee.
The new states added to the list have introduced legislation to prohibit biological males from competing against women in sports, which Bonta said is discriminatory. 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,” he said.
“While state employees may be barred from traveling here, Californians are fleeing by the thousands to places like Arkansas for our lower taxes, lower cost of living and abundant opportunities,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said in response.
A spokeswoman for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defended the laws passed in Florida which prevent men from competing against women in sports.
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“The legislation ensures that women’s sports remain fair,” said Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary. “On the contrary, allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports is discriminatory, because it puts girls and women at a disadvantage based on immutable, innate characteristics.”
“It is disappointing that the politicians calling the shots in Sacramento are not willing to stand up for women and girls in California,” she added.