California Has Instated A Growing Travel Ban On States That Implement Anti-LGBT laws

California implemented a so-called “travel ban” in January 2017 that prohibits state-funded travel to states that have discriminatory laws against LGBT individuals, meaning laws that discriminate against individuals because of sexual orientation or gender identity and/or expression.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra added four more states to the travel ban: Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas, bringing the total of blacklisted states to eight.

Following LGBT-discriminatory laws enacted June 25th 2016, California responded by enacting legislation AB 1887 in September 2016, under former California Attorney General Kamela Harris.

The law that prompted the creation of AB 1887 was North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill”, a legislation that prohibits individuals from using bathrooms in government buildings that do not correspond to their sex at birth, thus discriminating against gender-queer and transgender individuals.

Travel ban receives mixed reviews

The four newly added states have recently passed bills that would discriminate against sexual minorities and their families.

Following Attorney General Becerra’s addition to the blacklisted states, California legislator Evan Low, author of the original bill, stated: “AB 1887 was enacted to ensure our taxpayer dollars do not fund bigotry or hatred. Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s action today sends a strong message that discrimination beyond our borders will not be tolerated”.

Critics of the ban state that it will hurt students who may need to travel to the blacklisted states for academic and athletic purposes.

Mark Rivera, a UC Davis senior is one such critic, stating: “The law is a juvenile but well-intended reaction to a real problem . . . Instead of discouraging travel to supposedly backward places, we should encourage travel; otherwise, campuses will become more insular and make the problem worse.”