Last year the California State Legislature passed a bill that prohibited any non-essential travel by its state employees to states which it claims discriminate against any LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people. The list of states consisted of North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Just recently, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra added Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas to the list. He even stated that Californians’ tax dollars would not be used to fund trips to states that discriminate.
The reasons for which state on the list vary. North Carolina is on the list because of legislation forbidding gender neutral bathrooms.
Kansas and Kentucky are on the list due to legislation allowing religious organizations at public universities to require their members to abide by the organizations’ beliefs and standards.
Mississippi is on the list because of legislation allowing businesses, individuals, and religious organizations to deny services to LBGT individuals.
Tennessee is on the list because of legislation allowing licensed counselors denying services to LGBT patients who are mentally ill.
Alabama, South Dakota, and Texas are on the list due to legislation allowing child welfare organizations to deny services and adoptions to families if such actions conflict with the state employees’ religious beliefs, i.e. LGBT couples’ not being allowed to adopt children. Of course, such legislation in those three states is understandable due to incidents of gay couples molesting the children whom they adopted. But in the eyes of California’s liberals, gay rights take priority over the welfare of children, and religious beliefs for that matter.
It is unclear how far such a travel ban will go. One example would be the sports teams of California’s public universities. Are they forbidden from travelling to the states in question to compete during their regular seasons? And what about post-season play? I seriously doubt any college sports team would want to abandon the chance to play for a national championship due to politics — hence this is an another reason why politics needs to stay out of sports.
So far all eight states on the list have stood firm against California’s travel ban, despite North Carolina’s newly-elected Governor Roy Cooper vowing to do away with the gender-neutral bathroom law.
It is unclear if other states will be added to the list. It is also unclear how this issue will affect relations between California and the states it put on its travel ban list.
Will other states follow in California’s footsteps? Will some enact similar legislation to the states on California’s travel ban list? Only time will tell.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0; Excerpted from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/amayu/60785557